AUTHOR: Madlen Kobi
CONTEXT: Lecture in the frame of the appointment procedure of the W1-Junior Professorship for Ethnology with a Focus on Asia. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 10.7.2017
KEYWORDS: building materials, urban architecture, China, Anthropocene, space, urban anthropology
An anthropological approach to urbanization with a particular perspective on architecture and materialities expands existing knowledge on social processes in cities, like migration or intercultural coexistence. Further, it opens up new perspectives on an urban political ecology in the Anthropocene. Urbanization is connected to processes such as capitalist accumulation, resource overuse/scarcity, and energy use. An action-theoretical perspective on the reuse of construction materials in China shows that these materials move between urban and rural contexts, between local and regional networks and between old and new houses. Therefore, we have to conceptualize cityscapes as emerging from daily material practices, as assemblages of human and non-human actors.