“This complex, provocative volume plunges us into the postindustrial, postsocialist world of Hoyerswerda, Germany’s ‘fastest shrinking city,’ and contemporary debates in anthropology about knowledge, time, affect, and meaning…This work speaks strongly to American Rust Belt cities and other sites of profound change in its methods, theory, and data, and should inspire further dialogues about anthropological knowledge as well the possibilities of urban action” • Choice
“[Ringel’s] book masterfully captures the tension in Hoyerswerda residents’ lives as they navigate the interplay between their socialist pasts, their evolving postsocialist presents, and their potential postindustrial futures.” • EuropeNow
“Accessible and stimulating… There is little that I know of in our current literature that describes a present-moment European urban community in this ethnographic detail.” • Jane Guyer, Johns Hopkins University
How does an urban community come to terms with the loss of its future? The former socialist model city of Hoyerswerda is an extreme case of a declining postindustrial city. Built to serve the GDR coal industry, it lost over half its population to outmigration after German reunification and the coal industry crisis, leading to the large-scale deconstruction of its cityscape. This book tells the story of its inhabitants, now forced to reconsider their futures. Building on recent theoretical work, it advances a new anthropological approach to time, allowing us to investigate the postindustrial era and the futures it has supposedly lost.
Felix Ringel is a COFUND International Research Fellow in the Anthropology Department at Durham University. His work on time, the future, and urban regeneration has been published in leading journals such as The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Critique of Anthropology and Anthropological Theory. He is co-editor of The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology’s issue on “Time-tricking: Reconsidering Temporal Agency in Troubled Times.”
LC: HC289.H69 R56 2018
BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; SOC026030 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Sociology/Urban
BIC: JHM Anthropology; JFSG Urban communities