Dr. phil. Elisabeth Sommerlad

Elisabeth Sommerlad supports the team Human Geograhy as postdoc researcher. She studied Geography, Communication  and Sociology in Mainz and graduated in 2012 with a diploma thesis on "Marrakech in feature film". From March to September 2013 she was a research assistant to the Team Cultural Geography at the Institute of Geography of JGU. From October 2013 to September 2015 she held a doctoral scholarship of the Stipendienstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz. In 2019 she completed her doctorate with a dissertation on the cinematic staging of intercultural encounters with a focus on US-American feature films set in New York City.

Her current research deals with interrelations of media and social phenomena in a spatial perspective. She focuses on questions of cultural diversity, identity and place(-making) in a globalized world. In this context, her interest lies primarily in media based discourses around and stagings of intercultural (conflict) spaces, which emerge in the context of everyday encounters and touristic settings.

Elisabeth is managing editor for Media Geography at Mainz, a book series published by Steiner.

Current Research Projects

My regional focus is currently set on Mauritius. The society of the island state in the Southern Indian Ocean, which has been independent since 1968, is characterised by a complex multiethnicity. While at a political level, multiethnicity, as part of the national identity, receives special attention and support, there are numerous challenges at a social level in everyday life; communalism and post- and/or neo-colonial dependent relationships as well as social disparities among societal groups are important keywords. An empirical research project deals with places and spaces where various players negotiate cultural diversity as the island society’s capability and stage it in the context of an ongoing discourse of a “paradise island”. Special attention is paid to the post-colonial negotiation of cultural diversity and its challenges at so-called Places of Encounter. Touristified settings are of particular interest, because they give the topic a unique dynamic with a view to international and to local tourism. Therefore, the construction and staging of touristic spaces are examined and the dynamic interaction of specific places, players, touristic practices and medial stagings are analysed, in the context of which narratives of cultural diversity and related identity constructions evolve. As a result, the area of tension of the colonial past and the post-colonial present is rather interesting. This is complemented by a media-geographic analysis of medial stagings of Maritius, which, for instance, circulate on digital platforms, in audio-visual formats, in everyday media, street art, music and contemporary literature.

Publications

Mauer, R. und E. Sommerlad (forthcoming): Die Karte im Film. In: Bulgakowa, O. and R. Mauer (Eds.): Dinge im Film. Wiesbaden.  

Sommerlad, E. (forthcoming): Filmgeographie. In: Thielmann, T. and M. Kanderske (Eds.): Handbuch Mediengeographie. Baden-Baden. 

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Film Geography. In: Adams, P. und B. Warf (Hrsg.): Handbook Media Geography. London: 118-131.

Sommerlad, E. and Y. David (forthcoming): Digital Inequalities in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Israel and Germany. In: Brunn, S. und D. Gilbreath (Eds.): COVID-19 and an Emerging World of Ad Hoc Geographies. Springer.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Tourismus auf Mauritius. In: Geographische Rundschau 1/2: 44-47.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Perspektiven auf Tourismusgeographie im 21. Jahrhundert. In: Geographische Rundschau 1/2: 4-8.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Geographische Rundschau (1/2), Special Issue "Tourism" (Moderation)

Mauer, R. und E. Sommerlad (forthcoming): Die Karte im Film. In: Bulgakowa, O. and R. Mauer (Eds.): Dinge im Film. Wiesbaden.  

Sommerlad, E. (forthcoming): Filmgeographie. In: Thielmann, T. and M. Kanderske (Eds.): Handbuch Mediengeographie. Baden-Baden. 

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Film Geography. In: Adams, P. und B. Warf (Hrsg.): Handbook Media Geography. London: 118-131.

Sommerlad, E. and Y. David (forthcoming): Digital Inequalities in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Israel and Germany. In: Brunn, S. und D. Gilbreath (Eds.): COVID-19 and an Emerging World of Ad Hoc Geographies. Springer.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Tourismus auf Mauritius. In: Geographische Rundschau 1/2: 44-47.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Perspektiven auf Tourismusgeographie im 21. Jahrhundert. In: Geographische Rundschau 1/2: 4-8.

Sommerlad, E. (2021): Geographische Rundschau (1/2), Special Issue "Tourism" (Moderation)

Freitag, F., C. Molter, L. K. Mücke, H. Rapp, D. Schlarb, E. Sommerlad, C. Spahr & D. Zerhoch (2020): Immersivity: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Spaces of Immersion. In: Ambiances [Online], Varia, Online since 11 December 2020:  http://journals.openedition.org/ambiances/3233.

Sommerlad, E. (2020): Rezension: Michael Pekler/Andreas Ungerböck: Wien. Eine Stadt als Filmkulisse. In: rezens.tfm 2020/2. Online.

Sommerlad, E. and Y. David (2020): A Comparative Approach to Digital Divide in Times of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Online: https://med-geo.de/index.php/covid-19-symposium/.

Sommerlad, E. and Y. David (2020): The Digital Divide and the Right to Safe Internet Access in Times of COVID-19. Contribution within the "AAG Summer Series on questions of Geoethics and Human Rights highlighted by COVID-19 Conditions". Online.

Konter, O., E. Sommerlad, V. Cummings and J. Esper (2020): Bourbon-Vanille aus Madagaskar.
Ökologische und ökonomische Einflussfaktoren auf die Ertragsvariabilität eines globalen Handelsprodukts. In: Geographische Rundschau 4: 10-15.

Cummings, V. and E. Sommerlad (2020): Geographische Rundschau (4), Special Issue "Indian Ocean" (Moderation).

Sommerlad, E. (2019): Der Spielfilm Tangerine als Produktion eines (inter-)kulturell doppelt imaginierten Sehnsuchtsrraum. In: Stiglegger, M. und A. Escher (Eds.): Mediale Topographien. Beiträge zur Medienkulturgeographie. Wiesbaden: 243-275.

Lukinbeal, C., L. Sharp, E. Sommerlad and A. Escher (Eds.) (2019): Media's Mapping Impulse. Stuttgart.

Sommerlad, E. (2019): ‘Cinematic Faces’ der Stadt Marrakech. In: Pelizaeus, L. [Hrsg.]: Images du Patrimoine Mondial. Changement et persistance des images  des sites du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO (du Maroc à la vallée du Danube –  XVIIIe siècle à nos jours)/ Welterbebilder. Veränderung und Persistenz der Bilder  von UNESCO-Welterbestätten  von Marokko bis in das Donautal  vom 18. Jahrhundert bis heute. Münster: 321-339.

Escher, A. & E. Sommerlad (2018): Interkulturelle Konzepte in der Geographie.. In: Gogolin, I., V. B. Georgi, M. Krüger-Potratz, D. Lengyel & U. Sandfuchs (Hrsg.): Handbuch Interkulturelle Pädagogik, Bad Heilbrunn: 150-152.

Escher, A., E. Sommerlad & M. Karner (2017): "King's Landing gibt es wirklich!" - filminduzierte Reisen in imaginierte Welten. In: Vorstand der Marburger Geographischen Gesellschaft e.V. in Verbindung mit dem Dekan des Fachbereichs Geographie der Philipps-Universität (Hrsg.): Jahrbuch 2016. Marburg/Lahn: 157-163.

Escher, A., M. Karner, C. Kerz, H. Rapp & E. Sommerlad (2016): The Atmospheric Grid of Cruising on the High Seas In: Erdkunde 70 (4): 313-321.

Escher, A., M. Karner, C. Kerz, H. Rapp & E. Sommerlad (2016): Movement as the Basic Atmospheric Dimension of Cruising on the High Seas. In: Rémy, N. & N. Tixier (Hrsg.): Ambiances, tomorrow. Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Ambiances. University of Thessaly, Volos: 213-218.

 

Functions and Memberships

SOCuM, AG 2: Immersive Spaces (Junior Group, speaker)

Verband der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen (VGDH)

American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Managing Editor of the book series Media Geography at Mainz (MGM)

Lectures

Intercultural Encounters in Feature Films | 2022 AAG Annual Meeting, New York

Teaching

In research-led teaching projects, we address specific media geographic questions. This includes the staging of cultural diversity and social minorities in feature films, the embedding of medial places in everyday world contexts (e.g. Screen Tourism) and the construction of place on digital platforms (e.g. Instagram). Also, inspired by our teaching and research experience during the corona pandemic, we deal with the implementation of empirical social research in online contexts.

Winter 2020/21

  • M2 MA: "Theories of Media Geography"
  • M5 MA: "Geopolitik im Film"

Summer 2021

  • M2 MA Project Seminar: Media Geography
  • M5 MA Seminar: Places in the Media (with Prof. Dr. Chris Lukinbeal, University of Arizona)
  • M6 MA Advanced Seminar: Research Workshop "Heimar, Identity, and Belonging of Recognized National Minorities in Germany
  • M8 Übung: Theorien und Methoden der Humangeographie "Heimat und Identität"

Winter 2020/21

  • M2 MA: "Theories of Media Geography"

Summer 2020

  • M 2/ M2ED Lecture: Human Geography 2: Urban and Social Geography
  • M2 MA Project Seminar: Media Geography
  • M3 MA Geographies of Cultural Globalisation Processes - Geo-ethical Perspectives on Cultural and Spatial  Phenomena in an Entangled World (with Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kruip)
  • M6 MA  Advanced Seminar & Research Project: Urban Tucson (with Prof. Dr. Chris Lukinbeal, University of Arizona)