Förster, Claire

Claire Forster
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Emotional Experiences of Nighttime Interventions
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Sergei Shubin and Dr Matt Roach and Dr Andrew Williams
Supervising school:
Department of Geography,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship
External Sponsor:
Blurrt and Ordnance Survey

Focusing on cities, this project seeks to elucidate the interrelatedness of space, place-making, emotional experiences and emotion-articulations in interactions of different types of ‘bodies’. To narrow this broad scope, particular attention will be paid to emotional aspects of public interventions at night-time. I am interested to see how people navigate the city and to what extent their movement-patterns are reflected in or influenced by their emotional attitudes attached to certain locales. Self-perceptions, how people are externally framed, and collective as well as individual memories presumably affect how one uses cityscapes, which necessitates ethnographic methods to unearth narratives of emotional landscapes and meanings attached to a city’s ‘places’. In the context of interventions, the questions of emotionality of experience and self-expression will have to be asked for those intervening, those ‘receiving’ interventions at night and those who may have opinions about night-time interventions that based on non-experientially obtained ‘knowledge’. When booming digital and social media enable self-representation, opinion and information-distribution at a near-omniscient scale, it becomes easier to develop emotional atmospheres or form a picture of ‘places’ that rests on other people’s experiences. Also, the virtual realm may offer a different kind of platform to express emotional attitudes that remain obscure in real-life face-to-face interventions – for all involved. It will be interesting to follow digital footprints of nightly city-dwellers to investigate their (emotional) understandings of cityscapes. Hopefully, knowledge about mobility-patterns and emplaced sentiments, related to self-identification, stereotypes etc., helps improve communication between groups involved in interventions and establish a more positive emotional cityscape.

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About Claire Förster

It's always hard to put a life in a nut-shell - whilst this is fairly obvious in the literary sense, I find it holds true for the figurative meaning of the saying, too. Since you can always ask me for further elaborations on the many supremely interesting (...) aspects of myself, I shall focus on Academia: Having graduated with a BA in Social/Cultural Anthropology and Political Sciences from Freie UniversitÀt Berlin, Germany (2015), I did my masters in Aberdeen, Scotland. Its title? MSc. Sex, Gender and Violence: Critical Approaches. Now, having finished my PhD at the Human Geography department of Swansea University, Wales, I have moved to a place I never knew before in germany to engage in the leisure of job-hunting. If I am not studying...well, when I was not studying, I used to be a cretive writer a.k.a. poetry slammer in Berlin. Also, I volunteered with Amnesty International and in several self-organised women's projects, both in Germany and the UK. In Swansea, I also volunteered with asylum-seekers and rough sleepers, just to keep me sociabe (sort of) whilst PhD-ing for my life. Apart from that? Food. Baking and eating are probably the most common activities you will see me perform; sometimes while and sometimes for studying...