Mag.a Teresa Millesi, BA 

About the person


04/2020 – 09/2020 Visiting Doctoral Student at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich

Since 02/2018 | member of the Doctoral Programme “Dynamics of Inequality and Difference in the Age of Globalization“ within the Research Area „Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts, University of Innsbruck

Since 10/2017 | Doctoral Student in Cultural and Literature Studies at the University of Supervisors: Claudia Jünke and Birgit Mertz-Baumgartner

09/2015–06/2016 | Translation project (Spanish > German) of „Desaparecido. Memorias de un cautivero“, Mario Villani/Fernando Reati. Supervisors: Helga Lion and Maria Teresa Medeiros-Lichem

04/2015 | BA Transcultural Communication (German, English, Spanish) at the University of Vienna, BA Thesis: “Translation im Kontext eines hybriden kulturellen Identitätsentwurfs“

08/2013–02/2014 | ERASMUS exchange semester at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

03/2013 | Mag. phil. Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the Universit of Vienna, Thesis: “Interkulturelle Aspekte im lateinamerikanischen Theater des 21. Jahrhunderts“

02/2011–07/2011 | JOINT STUDY exchange semester at the Universidad de Chile

PhD project

"Belonging: The Importance of Indigenous Territoriality Concepts in Land and Resource Conflicts between Indigenous and National Organizations in Latin America

Territoriality – as a constitutive element of cultural identity – describes the collective experience and perception of the surrounding world and its transmittance (Szurmuk/McKee, 2012). It influences how one sees and uses land, territory, or landscape and which cultural or symbolic values are inscribed. This can be used as a form of power to legitimate ownership or other claims in relation to space. Modern Western notions of territoriality are generally associated with the idea of the nation, which produces a territory as a homogenous space – and simultaneously silences or invalidates other concepts of territoriality, other notions of space and forms of appropriation of it – as was the case in Latin America in the process of colonization and nation building (Mignolo, 1995).

Until this day, indigenous groups struggle to claim their territories. These conflicts often set off social movements which try to claim their rights within the nationally produced discourse by expressing indigenous concepts of territoriality in order to question the hegemonic territorial claim of nation states. My research question is: how can indigenous concepts of territoriality challenge the hegemonic position of the nation – as the central narrative of modernity – and thereby serve to delink from the ongoing colonization of space?

In the context of recent territorial conflicts, film is often used by indigenous movements as a political tool to shape the disputed territory with their own inscriptions or to produce a new space. Within my project, I will analyse how the homogenous national space is perceived, negotiated or ‘transgressed’ by introducing counter-narratives and alternative interrelationships between humans and nature, as expressed in films produced by indigenous groups, in order to understand how this “[…] thinking in exteriority, in the spaces and time that the self-narrative of modernity invented as its outside to legitimize its own logic of coloniality […]“ (Mignolo, 2011) can foster a process of decolonization of space and contest the coupling of territory and rights as alienable and exclusive ‘goods’.

Project Description

Research interests

  • Postcolonial Theory, decolonial processes
  • Film
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Anthropocene
  • (posthumanist) Performativity


  • Teresa Millesi (2020): “‘This Madness Has to Stop!’ Indigenous Voices on the Destruction of the Amazon”, in: Seeing the Woods (Blog of the Rachel Carson Center), 14.10.2020. to the text
  • Teresa Millesi (2014): Inszenierung von Hybridität. Interkulturelle Aspekte im lateinamerikanischen Theater des 21. Jahrhunderts, Wien: AV Akademikerverlag

Conference presentations

  • Landconflicts in Latin American documentary film – Representations of violence in „Paraná – el río“, XVII. Research Summit Latin America / Iberian Peninsula, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, November 8 – 9, 2019
  • Translation in the context of a hybrid cultural identity, Congreso Internacional de Estudios Interamericanos (Des)conexiones en las Américas, University of Bielefeld, June 6 – 8, 2018
  • Die Bedeutung indigener Territorialitätskonzepte in Landkonflikten zwischen Indigenen und Nationalstaaten, 35. Forum Junge Romanistik: Grenzen und Brücken in der Romania, Universität Innsbruck, March 18 – 20, 2019


  • OeAD Young Talent Award for development Research (2019)


  • Research Focus „Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts“, University of Innsbruck
  • Research Centre „Cultures in Contact“, University of Innsbruck


Doctoral College „Dynamics of Inequality and Difference in the Age of Globalization“
Research Focus „Cultural Encounters - Cultural Conflicts“                                                                                                                        Room: GEIWI tower, 11th floor, room 4DG23

Mail: teresa.millesi[at]

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