Christian Straube

Welcome to my website! These pages provide information on myself, my research interests and previous work as well as my hobby photography.

Much of what you read about here has its origin in my year as AFS exchange student in Malaysia in 2001. It was there where I first encountered 'China': the seemingly unknowledgeable Chinese characters, the history of the Overseas Chinese in South East Asia, their cultural and religious practices. After graduating from St. Benno Grammar School in Dresden, my interest in China led me to the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Centre for East Asian Studies of Heidelberg University in 2005. From 2008 to 2009 I studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing with a DAAD scholarship. In 2012, I graduated with an M.A. thesis on the influence of the Overseas Chinese in British Malaya on the Xinhai-Revolution in 1911.

I followed 'China' to the African continent. A journey over land led me from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) past Lusaka (Zambia) to Harare (Zimbabwe) in 2011. In my dissertation I wanted to dedicate myself to 'China-Africa' research. I was particularly interested in Chinese enterprises in Zambia's copper sector and their relationship to the Zambian workforce. My PhD project at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology from 2014 to 2018 was planned to be an ethnographic study of conflicts and integration processes in the context of Sino-Zambian cooperation in mining. However, access difficulties during my fieldwork from 2015 to 2016 rendered this endeavour impossible. I had to realign my project. My focus changed to the socio-economic and spatial dimensions of colonial durability that I investigated in the former mining township of Mpatamatu in Luanshya. I submitted and defended my thesis at the Martin-Luther-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2018. Currently, I am working on the publication.

As a student of China at Heidelberg University I first worked as a student assistant and later a team manager in the IT department of the Centre for East Asian Studies. I developed a particular interest for the field of 'Digital Humanities' and the provision of digital resources in Chinese Studies. I have managed several database and website projects in the past. During semester breaks I often travelled to China and Taiwan as a guide for educational trips. In this sense, I have moved between research and IT, China and Africa, cultural encounters and awareness raising for the globalised world of today.