Kathrin Eitel

is an urban anthropologist with a focus on feminist science and technology studies and critical infrastructure studies. She is currently a Walter Benjamin Fellow (DFG) at USSH University in HCMC (Vietnam), the University of Osaka (Japan), and the Polytechnic University in Turin (Italy). For her PhD, she has conducted ethnographic research on the urban waste recycling economy in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and  is currently carrying out research on flood resilience in cities like HCMC in Vietnam. She is also an editor for the peer-reviewed journals S&TS (EASST/FSTS) and Kulturanthropologie Notizen.


Core Publications

Eitel, K. (2022). Recycling Infrastructures in Cambodia. Circularity, Waste, and Urban Life in Phnom Penh. London/New York: Routledge.

Eitel, K. (2022). Reshuffling responsibility: Waste, environmental justice, and citizenship. Worldwide Waste. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 5 (1), 1–13.

Eitel, K. (2021). Oozing matters. The infrastructure of ‘waste management’ in Phnom Penh and emergent naturecultures. Journal for East Asian Science & Technology Studies, 15 (2), 135–152.

Eitel, K. (2021). Waste fantasies: Challenging prevailing notions of waste, or how to reclaim political land. Network for Contemporary Anthropological Theory.

Eitel, K. & Meurer, M. (eds.) (2021). Ecological ontologies. Approaching human-environmental engagements. Berliner Blätter, 84 (1).

Eitel, K. (2019). Reflexivität als Prinzip. Für eine Ökologie des Forschens und über die methodologische Anschlussfähigkeit an eine Soziale Ökologie. In Sattlegger, L., Deppisch, L., & Rudolfi, M. (eds.), Methoden umweltsoziologischer Forschung. Band zur 11. Tagung der Nachwuchsgruppe Umweltsoziologie. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie. Frankfurt/Main: ISOE – Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung, 30–44.

Most recent

Eitel, K. & Wergin, C. (forthcoming). Handbuch Umweltethnologie. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

Eitel, K. & Simon, S. (forthcoming). Multimodales Ethnographieren. In Eitel, K. & Wergins, C. (eds.), Handbuch Umweltethnologie. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

Eitel, K. (2023). Resilience. The Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology, published online.


Radical Resilience. Encountering Flood Policies, Knowledge Formations and Climate Transformation Processes in Ho Chi Minh City

Coastal cities such as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are particularly affected by climate change due to flooding and rising sea levels. In view of future threat scenarios, resilient policies are the new key element of urban policy. They aim to strengthen a city’s adaptive capacity to climate shocks, but often disregard existing and gender-specific resilience practices ‘on the ground’. At the same time, international ‘political templates’ for flood protection measures that provide a certain body of knowledge about how best to deal with floods are often unreflectively implemented at the national level. In this context, the project aims to understand the multiple connections between local and gender-specific practices of flood control, the power of knowledge production and its financialization. It also investigates the worldviews that inform the modelling and forecasting of flood data and how these shape notions of climate change, risk and resilience.