Skip to content

Viona Hartmann

Short Vita
Viona is a Ph.D. candidate in the DFG research training group „Fixing Futures.“ She studied Sociology and Political Science at the University of Cologne and Goethe University Frankfurt. During her studies, she worked as a research assistant for the ERC project „Cryosocieties“ from 2019 to 2023 at Goethe University. Viona’s research interests include sociological and feminist theory, environmental humanities, (feminist) science and technology studies, and medical anthropology.

Project Description
Microbes profoundly influence life on and around Earth, embodying both peril and promise. On the one hand, they can cause pandemics, drive antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and thereby pose existential threats to modern medicine. This dystopian vision and the associated knowledge contrasts sharply with an emerging narrative that perceives microbes as indispensable allies to health, on the other hand. The exploration of the microbiome unveils a plethora of microbial contributions to (more-than-)human health, challenging conventional perceptions of pathogens. Proceeding from this double logic, my PhD project investigates how practices and strategies that involve microbial worlds transform temporal and spatial relations and reconfigure not only our understanding of health and illness, but also of life and death. For this reason, I ask how multiplicities of microbial life are enacted, to develop nuanced and speculative ways of thinking about microbial futures. To explore this intricate interplay, I empirically and theoretically inquire multiple strategies and approaches that aim at handling microbial life. For this, I investigate two case studies: the first delves into foundational research in molecular life sciences, probing the development of novel treatments against multi-drug resistant bacteria. The second scrutinizes phage therapy, heralded as a revolutionary approach to combat resistances through microbes and thereby opening up a different knowledge dimension on microbes as drugs. Through these cases, I illustrate the enactments of microbial life as well as epistemic and ontological dimensions of human-microbe relationships.


Hartmann, Viona (2024): “(M)Anthropocene? Aktuelle Perspektiven auf Natur- und Geschlechterverhältnisse.” Feministische Studien 24 (1): 160–163.

Von Verschuer, Franziska; Hartmann, Viona & Barla, Josef (2023): “Um/Ordnungen des Lebens. Konturen einer dekolonialen Analytik ökologischer Krisen.” In Leben regieren. Natur, Technologie und Gesellschaft im 21. Jahrhundert, Hrsg. Katharina Hoppe, Jonas Rüppel, Franziska von Verschuer & Torsten H. Voigt, pp. 37–55. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.

Hartmann, Viona & Hoppe, Katharina (2020): “Ecofeminist Futures. On Politicizing Necessity.” engagée: Journal for Art, Politics and Activism #9: Disobedient Futures: 47–51.