Emptiness

Friederike Pank

Friederike will be starting her DPhil in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford in October 2021. She holds a Grand Union DTP Studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and will carry out her doctoral research within the framework of this ERC-funded EMPTINESS project.

She has an MPhil with distinction in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford, an interdisciplinary BA (cum laude) in International Studies from Leiden University, and a first-class music degree in Classical Piano from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.

In previous research projects, Friederike investigated the affective and social work of visual and performance art in urban space; discourses of multiculturalism and practices of integration in the Netherlands; and the changing spatiotemporal configurations of Eastern Germany’s coal mining landscapes. In her doctoral project, Friederike researches how networks of civic, political, and corporate actors craft and negotiate local futures after the decline of coal in the Eastern German mining district of Lusatia, where Germany’s energy transition towards renewables and the ensuing structural transformation of the industrial landscape must currently be put into practice. In particular, she looks at how ambitious hopes for the region’s revitalisation are reconciled with the local conditions of disintegrating services and infrastructures, persistent depopulation, and popular resentment which characterised the decades of postindustrial shrinkage after the collapse of socialism in 1989.

Collaborate with us

If you would like to find out more about the project or contribute a blog on a resonant aspect of your own research to the Field Reports section of our website, please get in touch by writing to emptiness@anthro.ox.ac.uk.