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Julia Poerting, M.A.


Julia Poerting, M.A.


Über Julia Poerting

Julia Poerting studied geography and political science at the University of Heidelberg and at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. She wrote her master thesis on the recent conflict (2007-2009) in the Swat valley in Northern Pakistan with a focus on socio-agrarian change, vulnerability and land tenure systems. The work is based on ethnographic field work conducted in the Swat valley in 2011.

Julia Poerting's PhD Project "Certifying Futures? Knowledge, Practices and Governance of Organic Agriculture in Pakistan" focuses on the myriad junctures of various persons, plants, markets and knowledge that constitute (certified) organic agriculture in Pakistan. Her work is based on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in North and Central Pakistan to understand how farmers, middlemen and so-called experts debate, produce and circulate knowledge and practices. 

The theoretical basis of her research draws from scholarship on  Political Ecology, Agrofood Studies as well as Science and Technology Studies.

Her general research interests are (postcolonial) political ecology, urban political ecology, agrofood studies, socio-agrarian change, neoliberalisation of nature, critical geography, society-nature relations, political ontology. Her regional focus is South Asia with an emphasis on (Northern and Central) Pakistan.


Since 04/2013: PhD Student in JRG C15 at the Cluster of Excellence, Heidelberg

Title of the PhD project: "Certifying Futures? Knowledge, Practices and Governance of Organic Agriculture in Pakistan"


04/2012    MA with distinction in geography and political science at the University of Heidelberg, Master Thesis on "Vulnerabilität und Konflikt im Paradies - Eine Analyse des rezenten Konfliktgeschehens in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan" based on ethnographic field work in the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan

2009         Student at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India

Workshops and Conferences (organized)

December 2013: Workshop "Cultivating Futures: Ethnographies of Alternative Agricultures in (South Asian) Landscapes of Crisis" at the Karl Jaspers Centre, Heidelberg. Link

June 2013: Workshop "Organic Agriculture in South Asia - Motifs, Actors and Dynamics" at the Karl Jaspers Centre, Heidelberg

April 2013: 16th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies "Society and Environment in Ladakh: Historical Perspectives and Recent Dynamics" at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg (Research Assistant for Dr. Juliane Dame, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg)

Panels (organized)

October 2015: "Scales of Environmental Knowledge: Technologies, Representations and Power" at the Conference 'Scales of Knowledge: Zooming In and Zooming Out', Cluster 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context', Heidelberg University, October 7-9 (together with Daniel Münster and Saee Haldule).

June 2015: "Producing food sovereignty: Reclaiming healthy, tasty and local foodways in Asia" at the Conference 'Food, Feeding and Eating in and out of Asia", Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen, June 24-26 (together with Daniel Münster and Saee Haldule).

Professional Experience (selection)

07/2015  Intercultural training for the Akademie für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (AIZ) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Erfurt, Germany

since 08/2014: co-editor of the series "Geographien Südasiens" of the South Asia Study Group in the German Geographical Society (DGfG)

since 01/2014: board member of the "Arbeitskreis Südasien" (South Asia Study Group) in the DGfG

09/2012-03/2013  Young Professional with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Luang Prabang, Laos, working on Integrated Rural Development

02/2011-08/2011  Consultant for GIZ-International Services in Islamabad, Pakistan, working on civilian capacity building for law enforcement

Awards and Grants

January-April 2017: Completion grant from the Graduate Academy, Heidelberg University.

June-October 2016: Grant from Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) to be a visiting PhD student in the Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA) project.

November 2015: DAAD travel grant to present at the 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Denver, USA.

SAI-Award 2013 for her master's thesis (Link: SAI-Award for Julia Poerting)

Teaching Experience

Winter term 2016/2017: Seminar (Bachelor level, Heidelberg University): "Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf Landwirtschaft in Südasien im Anthropozän" (together with Judith Müller, MA)

Winter term 2016/2017: Geländepraktikum "Bio-Boom, Strukturwandel und Klima: Entwicklungen und Herausforderungen der Landwirtschaft in der Rhein-Neckar-Region" (together with Dr. Susanne Schmidt)

Winter Term 2015/2016: Excursion (Bachelor and Master, Heidelberg University) "Alte Landwirtschaft auf neuen Wegen?" (together with Dr. Susanne Schmidt)

Summer Term 2015: Seminar (Bachelor level, Heidelberg University): "Einführung in die Agrargeographie Südasiens"

Winter Term 2013/2014: Seminar (Master level, Heidelberg University): "Cultivating Theory. Transcultural Approaches in Agrarian Studies." (co-taught with Daniel Münster and Saee Haldule)

Winter Term 2009/2010 and Summer Term 2010 (Bachelor level, Heidelberg University): Teaching Assistant for the seminars "Introduction to Political Science" and "Introduction to Political Thought"

Ausgewählte Publikationen



Poerting, Julia (i.E.): Farmers Markets in Pakistan - Moral Consumption for Elites? In: Schaflechner, Jürgen; Oesterheld, Christina (Hrsg.): Pakistan. Parallel Narratives of the Nation-State. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Poerting, Julia (2017): Soziale Innovation oder Business as Usual? Zertifizierte Biolandwirtschaft in Nordpakistan, in: Geographische Zeitschrift 105, 104-124.

Münster, Daniel; Poerting, Julia (2016): Land als Ressource, Boden und Landschaft: Materialität, Relationalität und neue Agrarfragen in der Politischen Ökologie, in: Geographica Helvetica 71, 245-257.

Poerting, Julia (2015): The Emergence of Certified Organic Agriculture in Pakistan - Actor Dynamics, Knowledge Production, and Consumer Demand, in: ASIEN 134, 143-165.

Münster, Daniel; Poerting, Julia; Dame, Juliane (2015): Agrarwirtschaft in Indien: Kleinbauern zwischen Krise und neuen Perspektiven, in: Geographische Rundschau 67 (1), 16-23.

Non peer-reviewed academic publications

Schlitz, Nicolas; Poerting, Julia (eds.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien: 6. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 22./23. Januar 2016, Osnabrück. Heidelberg, Berlin: CrossAsia-ebooks, 2016 (Geographien Südasiens, Band 5). 

Poerting, Julia (2015): Who controls the land in certified organic farming? Discerning the divide between de jure and de facto land control, in: Poerting, Julia; Keck, Markus (Hrsg.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 5. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 23./24. Januar 2015, Göttingen, 29-32. 

Poerting, Julia (2015): Review of the book 'The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India' by Sarah Besky. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. xxxi + 233 pp. ISBN 978-0-520-27739-7. In: Mountain Research and Development 36.

Poerting, Julia (2014):  Bio-Landwirtschaft in Pakistan - Verflechtungen von urbaner und exportorientierter zertifizierter ökologischer Landwirtschaft?, in: Poerting, Julia; Lennartz, Thomas (Hrsg.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 4. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar, Freiburg, 6-9.

Poerting, Julia (2013): Violent Environments - Agrarsozialer Wandel und Konflikt im Swattal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, in: HGG Journal 27, pp. 187-194.

Poerting, Jula (2012): Vulnerabilität und Konflikt im Paradies - Eine Analyse des rezenten Konfliktgeschehens in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan (unveröffentlichte Magisterarbeit).

Conference Proceedings

Butsch, Carsten; Poerting, Julia (2016): 6th Annual Conference of the Study Group South Asia of the German Geographical Society (DGfG). Osnabrück, 22-23 January 2016. In: Internationales Asienforum 47 (1-2), 160-163.

Poerting, Julia; Keck, Markus (2015): 5. Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Südasien der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie (DGfG). In: Internationales Asienforum 46 (1-2), 211-213.

Falk, Gregor; Poerting, Julia (2014): Tagungsbericht: 4. Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Südasien in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie (DGfG). In: Asien - The German Journal on Contemporary Asia.

Münster, Daniel; Poerting, Julia (2014): Conference Proceedings: Cultivating Futures. Ethnographies of Alternative Agricultures in (South) Asian Landscapes of Crisis. In: Asien - The German Journal of Contemporary Asia.


Poerting, Julia (2017): Certifying Organic Niche Products in Northern Pakistan. Performing Sustainable Development? "Playing Development Roles. The Political Ecology of Performance in South Asian Agricultural Development", 27.04.-29.04.2017, Heidelberg, Germany. 

Poerting, Julia (2016): Organic, Natural, Local - Hybrid Practices, Lively Soils and Conscious Consumption of Organic Agriculture in Pakistan. "Second International Conference on Environment: Production of Nature", 15.12.-16.12.2016, Lahore, Pakistan.

Poerting, Julia/Müller, Judith (2016): Methodenvielfalt in der geographischen Südasienforschung. "Arbeitskreis Südasien: 6. Jahreskonferenz", 22.01.-23.01.2016, Osnabrück, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2015): He has seen the World. So Whenever He Comes Here, We Follow His Suggestions - Trust and Responsibility in Farmer-Exporter Relationships in Northern Pakistan. "Familiar/strange. 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association", 18.11.-22.11.2015, Denver, USA.

Poerting, Julia (2015): Brokering Scales of Environmental Knowledge: Making Sense of Organic Agriculture in Pakistan. "Scales of Knowledge. Zooming In and Zooming Out. 7th Annual Confernce of the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context'", 07.10.-09.10.2015, Heidelberg, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2015): Landnutzung in der Politischen Ökologie - methodische und konzeptionelle Herausforderungen in der Humangeographie. "Deutscher Kongress für Geographie", 1.10.-6.10.2015, Berlin, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2015): Neighborhood farmers markets as spaces of hope for urban elites: moral consumption and exchange in urban Pakistan. "Krisen. Re-formationen von Leben, Macht und Welt. Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde", 30.09.-3.10.2015, Marburg, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2015): Farmers' Markets in Urban Pakistan: Moral Consumption for Elites? "Food, Feeding, and Eating in and out of Asia. 7th Annual International ADI Conference", 24.-26.06.2015, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Poerting, Julia (2015): Who controls the land in certified organic farming? Discerning the divide between de jure and de facto land control. "Arbeitskreis Südasien: 5. Jahreskonferenz", 23.01.-24.01.2015, Göttingen, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2014): Farmers’ Markets in Islamabad and Lahore – Creating a Link between Consumers and Organic Producers? "Pakistan: Parallel Narratives of the Nation-State", 01.12.-03.12.2014, Heidelberg, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2014): Farming in High mountains for High-end Markets: Certified Organic Agriculture and Agrarian Change in Baltistan, Pakistan. "Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution. Innovation and Continuity in an Interconnected World. 13th EASA Biennial Conference", 31.07.-03.08.2014, Tallinn, Estonia.

Poerting, Julia (2014): Organic Agriculture in Pakistan - Producers, Consumers and the Market. Presentation in the Lecture Series "D4D - Dialogue for Development" at Lok Sanjh, 13.05.2014, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Poerting, Julia (2014): Organic Agriculture in Pakistan - Challenges and Possibilities. Guest Lecture at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 20.04.2014, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Poerting, Julia (2014): (Zertifizierte) ökologische Landwirtschaft in Pakistan – Akteursverflechtungen und Wissenszirkulation. "Arbeitskreis Südasien: 4. Jahreskonferenz", 24.01.-25.01.2014, Freiburg, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2013): Knowledge of Organic Agriculture in Pakistan - Challenging the Agro-Scientific Discourse. "Cultivating Futures: Ethnographies of Alternative Agricultures in (South) Asian Landscapes of Crisis", 12.12.-14.12.2013, Heidelberg, Germany.

Poerting, Julia (2013): Certified Organic Agriculture in Pakistan - Circulating, and Applying Knowledge and Practice. "New Forms of Agriculture: Ordinary practices, public debate and social critique", 20.11.-21.11.2013, Dijon, France.