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Dr Jacob Miller

Assistant Professor

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

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Retail Ruins: The Ghosts of Post-Industrial Spectacle, Miller, J. 25 Apr 2023
  • The Assemblages of (Counter) Spectacle – Mega-Retail in Post-Dictatorship Chile and Beyond, Miller, J. 1 Oct 2023, In: Environment and Planning A
  • Museum as geopolitical entity: Toward soft combat, Miller, J., Wilson, S. 1 Jun 2022, In: Geography Compass
  • The ruin(s) of Chiloé?: An ethnography of buildings de/reterritorializing, Miller, J. 1 Jul 2022, In: Cultural Geographies
  • Post-phenomenology, consumption and warfare on the urban leisure path, USA, Miller, J., Das, A. 1 Nov 2021, In: Geoforum
  • The geopolitics of presence and absence at the ruins of Fort Henry, Miller, J., Prieto, M., Vila, X. 1 Feb 2021, In: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
  • Spectacle and Trumpism: An Embodied Assemblage Approach, Miller, J. 18 Nov 2020
  • Spectacle, tourism and the performance of everyday geopolitics, Miller, J., Casino, V. 1 Nov 2020, In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
  • 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

Geography PhD June 30 2016

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