Dr Sasha Engelmann

Personal profile

Sasha Engelmann is a London-based geographer and artist exploring interdisciplinary, feminist, and creative approaches to environmental knowledge making. Her work contributes to the growing discipline of the GeoHumanities, a field animated by practice-based collaborations between geographers and artists.

Together with researcher and activist Sophie Dyer, Sasha leads the feminist radio project open-weather. Open-weather is a collective experiment in imaging and imagining the Earth and its weather systems. Founded in April 2020, the project encompasses a series of how-to guides, critical frameworks and public workshops on the reception of satellite imagery using free or inexpensive amateur radio technologies. Foregrounding the body as a situated technology, open-weather seeks to map and challenge structures and narratives of domination involving environmental data collection, while complicating ideas of the weather beyond the meteorological.

Between 2013 and 2016 Sasha conducted site-based, ethnographic fieldwork at Studio Tomás Saraceno in Berlin. This fieldwork included joining this major contemporary art studio as a practitioner, and collaborating with Saraceno and his studio team on exhibitions, residencies, writing and the Aerocene project. Sasha remains a collaborator of Studio Saraceno and has organized launches of Aerocene sculptures in various parts of the UK, and with her third year undergraduate students at Royal Holloway. 

She is on Twitter @sashacakes

Research interests

-       Creative Geographies

-       Geographies of Air and Atmosphere

-       Creative ethnography and Para-ethnography

-       Art-Science Collaboration and Transdisciplinarity

-       Feminist Theory and Philosophy

-       Nonrepresentational Theories

Teaching

Sasha teaches at undergraduate and masters levels, and is also advising doctoral projects. In particular:

  • GG3161 Atmospheres: Nature, Culture, Politics: a third year module engaging with the geographies of air and atmosphere. This course focuses on topics including the geogarphies of breath; gases; clouds, verticality; communication; affect; weather and the elements. It is taught with a mixture of lecture-based and practice-based workshops, and is assessed through essay writing and a 'practice portfolio'. 
  • GG2061 Cultural Geographies: a second year course co-taught with Professor Veronica Della Dora and Dr. Innes Keighren. Sasha's lectures focus in particular on 'material geographies' and include a range of contemporary, creative and aesthetic approaches to matter. 
  • GG2003 New York Field Trip: each year Sasha leads a seminar group on visual aesthetics, urban imaginaries, and analog photography; these themes and practices are connected to the politics of activism in New York City. The seminar teaching culminates in a week-long field trip to NYC.
  • GG5021 Advanced Methods for Global Futures. Situated within the MSc Global Futures programme, this course guides students through experimental, collaborative and hybrid methods in geographical research. It emphasises critical consideration of ethics and justice in research methods.

Before joining Royal Holloway's staff team, and together with fantastic colleagues from art, architecture, critical theory and planning, I designed a delivered a new two-year curriculum for Art in the Anthropocene at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. 

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