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Urban China Series Featuring Andrew Grant: Abject Space in Redevelopment: Urban Tibetans in Xining’s Old City Center

October 10, 2023 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am

Speaker: Andrew Grant, University of Tampa

Examining Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, this talk argues that urban redevelopment and greenfield expansion have devalued the older urban areas in which Tibetans live.  Through over twenty months of fieldwork between 2012 and 2017, I found that un-redeveloped urban places were becoming increasingly associated with crime, grime, and minoritized ethnic populations. These associations were driven by a complex combination of personal desires for modern urban amenities, pre-existing social tensions, and state-driven programs that drove and exacerbated new forms of social evaluation.

Andrew Grant is an Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Tampa. His research contributes to discussions about the role of urbanization, borders, and other materials in global geopolitics and the politics of marginalized groups. His studies have included the urban geopolitics of rural-to-urban migration amid state-led urbanization drives on the Tibetan Plateau, complications between soft power and security at China’s Inner Asian borders, and the geopolitics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative cartography. His research is grounded in qualitative methods including ethnography, interviews, and textual analysis.

We would like to thank the MIT Sustainable Urbanization Lab, the Ashoka University Centre for China Studies, the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning, the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies for supporting this event. Please subscribe to our mailing list if you’d like to receive e-mail notifications: http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/urbanchinaseminar.

Presented via Zoom.
Meeting link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/7060207759


October 10, 2023
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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