Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Anthropology, New York University (NYU)

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2012
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Yale University
Recycled Cities: Remaking Waste in Post-Reform Urban China

Post-reform Chinese cities have transformed from centers of production to centers of consumption, and large urban centers like Guangzhou and Beijing currently face a mounting waste crisis as official treatment facilities near capacity. This project traces the circulation of waste objects through official schemes such as Waste-to-Energy (WTE) incineration and formal recycling, grassroots recycling projects, and informal scavenging networks; it aims to uncover the entangled values, aspirations, and desires of three groups of actors as they transform waste into something of value in urban China. By examining the debate among waste experts, waste activists, and informal scavengers over how to manage waste, this project addresses what state technological projects, grassroots environmental initiatives, and everyday survival practices suggest about how the urban environment is being remade in contemporary China and in the rapidly developing cities of the global south.