Dr Sofie Narbed

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Personal profile

Sofie Narbed is a Lecturer in Cultural Geography whose work explores the geographies of dance and bodily practice with a particular focus on Latin America. Through in-depth ethnographic work, her research brings geographical thinking into productive dialogue with the politics and poetics of moving bodies. She is particularly interested in critical decolonial approaches to the making and remaking of dance(d) worlds. In her research she engages with theories of the body, creativity, contemporaneity, and decoloniality.

Sofie completed her PhD, entitled 'The Cultural Geographies of Contemporary Dance in Quito, Ecuador', in Royal Holloway's Geography Department in 2016, supervised by Philip Crang and Katie Willis, and funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 studentship. An interdisciplinary project that united work from geography, critical dance studies, and dance anthropology, her thesis took the form of an extended ethnographic study of the contemporary dance scene in Ecuador's capital, Quito. Working across concerns of the historical, the institutional, and the transnational, it explored the diverse geographical spaces emerging with and through artists' creative practice. In this, the thesis sought to interrogate dancemaking as a mode for questioning, and actively remaking, particular ideas of heritage, identity, and contemporaneity. 

Sofie is interested in collaborative and creative approaches to ethnographic work as part of her research and teaching. Her own work involves collaborative dialogues with dance artists in Ecuador and in the UK, and explorations of experimental and performative approaches to dance writing. Her dance practice has seen her perform in Quito with Ecuadorian artist Wilson Pico and in London with numerous independent collectives. She is also an active member of London Contact Improvisation.


GG3068 Creative Geographies: Economies, Spaces, Practices
GG2061 Cultural Geographies and the Modern World
GG1011/3 Geographical Techniques: Qualitative Methods; Geographical Techniques: Academic Skills
GG1032/4 Geographical Research and Field Training (Spain)
GG2001 Geographical Research and Field Training (New York)
GG2003/4 Geographical Research and Field Training (Cyprus) 

Educational background

PhD Cultural Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
MA Cultural Geography (Distinction), Royal Holloway, University of London
BA Geography (1.1), University of Nottingham 

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