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Dr Jacob Miller

Senior Lecturer

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

Jacob C Miller 

I am a critical human geographer with specific interests in cultural and urban geographies.

My research has focused mainly on the role of affect, emotion and identity in the built environments of consumption and urban spaces more broadly. I am currently focused on a controversial shopping mall development at the Chiloé archipelago in southern Chile. Using primarily ethnographic methodologies, my aim is to better understand how the embodied (affective and emotional) dynamics of everyday life inform the polarized controversy around this mega-retail development. Fieldwork conducted in 2015 focused on gathering different kinds of qualitative data around community responses to the mall and its broader contexts of a rapidly changing landscape that includes industrial aquaculture, new tourism developments and other mega-retail and infrastructure projects. Using classic methods like interviews and participant observation as well as mobile interviews and photo-elicitation, I was able to get closer to the affective and emotional dimensions of rapid landscape change and the controversy around the new shopping mall as emblematic of post-dictatorship consumer society and neoliberal urbanism.    

Prior to this project, I conducted research on the affective and emotional geographies of a shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, using a similar methodological approach. This project examined the embodied dynamics of the “Abasto Shopping” mall’s built environment and its broader context in a historic neighbourhood in central Buenos Aires. 

In 2009-2010, I worked with Paul Robbins on a National Science Foundation-supported project focused on mosquito management in southern Arizona. We interviewed vector control managers from different agencies to better understand how technology and capital mediate the political ecologies of public health.

I have also co-authored articles on the emotional dynamics of the U.S.-Mexico border region, the (geo)politics of tourism and consumption, as well as a pedagogical article on using distance learning technologies for teaching critical human geography.

I am eager to begin new collaborative research in the UK and in North East England, so please contact me if you are looking to collaborate.

Campus Address

Ellison B310
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne


Geography PhD June 30 2016

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Embodied Architectural Geographies of Consumption and the Mall Paseo Chiloé Controversy in Southern Chile, Miller, J. 4 Jul 2019, In: Annals of the American Association of Geographers
  • The face of the state on the U.S.-Mexico border, De La Ossa, J., Miller, J. 1 May 2019, In: Emotion, Space and Society
  • The “right to consume”? Re-thinking the dynamics of exclusion/inclusion in consumer society, Miller, J., Stovall, T. 2 Nov 2019, In: Consumption Markets and Culture
  • Negative simulation, spectacle and the embodied geopolitics of tourism, Miller, J., Del Casino, V. 2 Nov 2018, In: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
  • No fish, no mall, Miller, J. 1 Jun 2018, In: Geoforum
  • The ‘magic of the mall’ revisited, Miller, J., Laketa, S. 13 Sep 2018, In: Progress in Human Geography
  • The object‐orientated political subjectivities of McUniversity, Miller, J., Golden, C. 1 Mar 2016, In: Area
  • The critical intimacies of walking in the Abasto Shopping mall, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Miller, J. 1 Nov 2015, In: Social and Cultural Geography
  • Affect, consumption, and identity at a Buenos Aires shopping mall, Miller, J. 1 Jan 2014, In: Environment and Planning A
  • Approximating new spaces of consumption at the Abasto Shopping Mall, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Miller, J. 2014, In: Journal of Cultural Geography

PGR Supervision

Aditi Das Start: 01/10/2019


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