Image by wirestock on Freepik
Image by wirestock on Freepik

Guest Lecture by Kim Fortun (University of California, Irvine) on „Late Industrial Ethnography Redoubled – From Politics to Methods and back“

The public lecture took place at the Max Planck Institute for Ethnological Research and was summarized as follows:


"Late industrialism" points to both a historical period (since the mid- 1980s) and an analytic framework that draws out ways environmental hazards, vulnerabilities, and injustices are produced through tight coupling of historically sedimented socio-technical, political-economic, eco-atmospheric, cultural and discursive systems. I began to puzzle through these couplings about a decade ago, concerned about what it meant to "Remember Bhopal" 30 years after the historic toxic gas disaster in India (where I began my research career); 30 years into the environmental justice movement. In this presentation, I'll share how the world and my framing have developed since, implicating how I practice, teach and work to infrastructure ethnographic research. I'll also share and invite participation in diverse, experimental ethnographic projects.


Kim Fortun is director of the EcoGovlab and professor of Anthropology at the University of California Irvine. Her research and teaching focus on environmental health, injustice and disaster; experimental ethnographic methods; and the poetics and politics of data infrastructure.

Picture: Mareike Pampus. From left to right: Christoph Brumann, Boris Michel, Jonathan Everts, Kim Fortun und Asta Vonderau.