Lejie Zeng

Predoctoral Fellow (Sep 2022-Mar 2026)

Lejie Zeng’s PhD project focuses on the early intergenerational entanglements between China and uranium mining from 1955 to 2003, providing an East Asian perspective to explore how, in the face of "resource scarcity," indigenous geological knowledge and nuclear science were generated and disseminated among multiple knowledge actors. Her work examines in how far the development of this knowledge was driven by the mechanisms of (trans)national mega scientific and industrial programs and escalated into strategic resources for global geopolitics and modern techno-economics.

Lejie analyzes 1) how China mobilized multi-scale resources through national strategies and institutional administration to establish semi-autonomous mining communities; 2) cross-border knowledge transfer within mining communities; 3) how resource constraints stimulated thrifty geoscientific technologies; and 4) how emerging earth sciences become entwined with local and global power attributions. Ethnographic field investigation, archival research and oral history present the main research methods.

Lejie holds a BA in Media Arts from Tongji University in Shanghai and a MA in Media Studies from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HUB). She has worked as a research assistant in Transregional China Studies and Rehabilitation Science at HUB and as a researcher at the Berliner Werkstatt für Sozialforschung. Lejie was awarded the 2021 Humboldt Research Track Scholarship.

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