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Kathrin Eitel

Culture ** City ** Environment


I am a cultural anthropologist, STS scholar and a feminist, fascinated by the various ways life takes in conjunction with others - be it waste, technological megaprojects, or novel ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the role of knowledge, resilience strategies, and uncertainties in times of pressing climate change that can shed light on how we shape our planet now for the future.

Research Projects

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam is, following Jakarta, the second fastest sinking city in Southeast Asia (SEA) and it is estimated that 36% of it will be submerged by 2050, resulting in enormous damage to basic infrastructure and the destruction of 69% of the city’s districts. To address these challenges, the local government has an interest in strengthening the city’s flood resilience that means, by definition, to raise the city’s capacity to recover quickly from future flooding. This research aims on understanding in a more comprehensive fashion how flood resilience and participation correlate and if and how cities can become more resilient by choosing a more participatory approach to resilience.

Radical Resilience - Urban Flood Prevention


Climate Speculations - Surviving with Mangroves, Phytomining and Marshes

In the wake of the worsening impacts of climate change, so-called nature-based solutions (NbS) and technologies are coming to the fore that promise to "repair" our future. For example, mangroves, artificially produced phytoplankton or marshland and phytomining should help to capture the waste of our societies, e.g. in the form of Co2 and toxicities. This research project is interested in the question of to what extent hegemonically produced future visions are inherent in such ideas and how experimental speculations can reveal other ways of political participation.

Recycling Infrastructures in Phnom Penh

This research unpacked a different circular economy and infrastructure model that focuses on the way waste circulates through what I call ‘infracycles’, in the light of daily urban life, postcolonial assumptions of wealth and waste and clandestine and ephemeral constellations with materials that challenge the existent capitalist system with the creation of new tropes of freedom, working autonomy and the will to survive.


I am a passionate lecturer, regularly teaching BA and MA courses in Cultural Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies.

Click on the images below to learn more about my teaching subjects.

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