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Dr Naomi Millner

Dr Naomi Millner

Dr Naomi Millner
BA(Cantab.), MSc(Bristol), PhD(Bristol)

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Area of research

Political ecologies of conservation

Office 2.7n
University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 9107


I am a political-economic geographer who works primarily in the following areas:

  • Post-colonial, de-colonial and political ecology approaches to environmental politics, with a focus on the politics of knowledge
  • The cultural politics of race, nature and social exclusion
  • Food justice, agrarian social movements and food sovereignty, especially in the context of Central America
  • Concepts of 'commons' and 'commoning'
  • Migration, border politics and transnational forms of belonging
  • Theories of politics and aesthetics, especially Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière and decolonial theories
  • Community education, radical education and pedagogies for social change, including feminist approaches 
  • Environmental monitoring and digital monitoring practices. 


Knowledge politics and conflict: My work explores the knowledge politics surrounding the making and management of ‘environments’ in the context of changing global agendas for sustainability, and changing terrain of social conflict. Major themes in my work include citizenship rights, legal aspects of tenure and displacement, environmental expertise, and the construction of sustainable futures – especially in relation to forestry and food.

Transforming citizenship: I follow how new globalising agendas for sustainability transform and affect the contexts they are introduced within, against historical backdrops of coloniality, long-term conflict, disputes over land rights and citizenship, and unevenness in terms of access to resources. As increasing energy and resources are directed into meeting goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals, my work explores the implications on communities, governance, migration and environmental cultures -- for example of new monitoring targets and technologies.

Communities and practices: I am interested in the relationships of specific practices of 'bottom up' environmental conservation with neoliberal (market) economic forms of regulation, and the possibilities for political and cultural autonomy these allow or foreclose. Methodologically I mobilise ethnographic and participatory approaches in combination with oral histories and archival work to explore and elicit dimensions of situated cultural struggle. Insodoing I aim to contribute toward the co-creation of social histories and resistance practices that challenge colonial and exclusionary power geometries.


I completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge in 2006, and later studied for my MSc in Society and Space and a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Bristol. I completed my PhD in 2012

As part of my academic practice I am committed to practices for just and equitable social change as well as the dissemination of useful knowledge through popular education networks. To this end I work closely with community partners and social movements in my research. I am also involved in several refugee and asylum-seeking organisations in Bristol and co-founded the Bristol Hospitality Network, for which I remain a Trustee. I am involved in UK food networks such as the Landworker Alliance, and work collaboratively on environmental and food justice issues with community groups in the UK and Latin America.

I am also a member of the Authority Research Network (ARN), an interdisciplinary group of early career scholars who try to understand how authority relations are produced and transformed. Through theoretical work and collabrorative interventions they seek to practically engage with questions of positive power, political subjectivity, experience and authority.  The ARN was nitiatied with support from the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol in 2008, and has worked on three successful projects as part of the AHRC Connected Communities Programme.



I lecture, or have lectured, in the following areas:

  • Conflicted Environments (MSc, unit convenor)
  • More-than-human Geographies: Cultures of Nature (second year, unit convenor)
  • Postcolonial Matters (MSc)
  • Social Theory and Philosophy for Geography (second year)
  • Qualitative methods (second year, unit convenor)
  • Contemporary Debates (MSc, unit convenor)
  • Gender, Migration & Labour (third year)
  • Political & Economic Geography (first year)
  • Social Geography (first year)

I also teach outside the academy, giving lectures on migrants & health to medical students, supporting popular education processes within networks like the UK Food Sovereignty Network, and developing Action Research within farmers' networks in Central America. I participate in a number of public engagement schemes and am interested in working with schools groups, young people out of education, and adult learners.


  • Political ecology
  • green securitisation
  • monitoring technologies
  • Latin America
  • Food justice
  • transnational agrarian movements
  • food sovereignty
  • post-colonial and decolonial politics of knowledge
  • aesthetic politics
  • citizenship
  • authority & the production of knowledge
  • critical and radical pedagogies.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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