Coffee Hour: The Miller Lecture with Lynn Staeheli "Cosmopolitan Habits and the Making of Citizenship in Bosnia-Herzegovina"

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 3:00pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:00 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

About the Miller Lecture

The department's Miller Lecture Series is designed to bring eminent geographers to Penn State and is a gift to the Department of Geography from the late E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller. E. W. Miller was a Professor of Geography, department head, and associate dean emeritus in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

About the talk

Since the Dayton Agreement brought an end to formal hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), international organizations and intergovernmental agencies have expended considerable effort and funds to promoted new ways of being as citizens. Young people have been the focus of many of these efforts, reflecting concerns that youth are particularly susceptible to the negative influence of ethno-nationalism, but also beliefs that this generation offers the best chance for change. In striving to provide alternative frames of belonging outwith ethno-nationalism, youth citizenship projects aim to instill habits of cosmopolitanism in everyday practices. Drawing on John Dewey’s ideas regarding the habits of citizenship, the paper traces the complex geography of citizenship that international organizations attempt to construct and that young people navigate. In this geography, culturally-specific ideas of cosmopolitanism overlay pre-existing ideas of citizenship, as well as recent histories of violence and displacement. Key-informant interviews with youth activists and participatory research with youth organizations are used to analyze efforts to create national-level change by activating youth in the places they live and by mobilizing ideals of global citizenship and cosmopolitanism.

About the speaker

Lynn StaeheliLynn Staeheli ('83g) is a professor of human geography at Durham University in the United Kingdom and a professor of geography at the University of Arizona. She previously held posts in the Department of Geography and Institute of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado, and was Ogilvie Professor of Human Geography in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. She earned her MS in Geography at Penn State and her PhD in Geography at the University of Washington. For many years Staeheli’s research has focused on citizenship, analyzing the meanings, implications and spatiality of this problematic category. She explores citizenship through ethnographic and participatory research on activism, protest, migration, public space, religion, ethnicity/race, ethno-nationalism, and post-conflict societies. Drawing from feminist theory, she attends to the ways that citizenship is experienced, understood and negotiated through gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and intergenerational relations. Her most recent research projects include: Democracy and Public Life in the United States and United Kingdom (NSF, with Don Mitchell and Kafui Attoh), and Youth Citizenship in Divided Societies: Between Nation, Civil Society and Cosmopolitanism (European Research Council).

Contact us

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Angela Rogers  office: 814-865-2493 email:

Coffee Hour
Miller Lecture