Speak, Friend, and Enter?

During my fieldwork in Zambia I wanted to conduct research on the shared working environment of Chinese and Zambian mineworkers. After half a year of networking myself up through Zambian agencies, ministries and several embassies, I had to realign my research topic. I was not the first researcher to be denied research access by the copper mining industry. My own experience made me reflect on the history of fieldwork access in ethnographic research on the mining industry. My central question became how fieldwork access and anthropological knowledge production enforced each other. In June 2000, my article was published by the Journal of Southern African Studies

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Research

Hermeneutics and discourse analysis were at the centre of my methodological training and research activity at university. My research foci in Chinese Studies were the Jesuit missions to Imperial China, the South East Asian Overseas Chinese and the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and the ideological establishment of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s.

In pursuit of my PhD, I turned to the discipline of social anthropology and ethnographic research in the tradition of the Manchester School. My topical focus shifted to China in Africa with Zambia as a field site in particular, and mining in the context of colonial Southern Africa and post-colonial processes of ruination and renovation in more general.

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Photography

Since my father taught me how to pronounce 'Multispektralkamera' as a toddler, I am interested in photography. Always with my camera at hand, I attempt to submerge into the world around me.

Publications

I am currently working on a book and a chapter for an edited volume. They are due with Berghahn Books and James Currey in 2021. Both publications deal with the topic of post-colonial and post-industrial ruination and renovation in the context of the Zambian Copperbelt.

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Events

1 December 2020

Sinology into Practice: What is Dialogue Work?

Christian Straube is going to look back at his academic and employment history, and introduce the civil society dialogue work of the China Programme at Stiftung Asienhaus.

Contact

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