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Durham University

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Dr Felix Ringel

Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40259

Contact Dr Felix Ringel (email at

I am a social anthropologist working on urban anthropology andthe anthropology of time. I currently hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Fellowship, atDurham University.My work focuses on time, sustainability and urban development in postindustrial Europe. 

My first monograph Back to the Postindustrial Future: An Ethnography of Germany’s Fastest-Shrinking City (2018, Berghahn)investigates the effects of severe population shrinkage in the German city of Hoyerswerda. It documents how the inhabitants of a city “without a future” regain their futures, providing the first ethnography of a shrinking city and new approaches to the anthropological study of the future.

I am currently writing my second monograph, Urban Sustainability and the Future: An Anthropological Investigation of a ‘Climate City’ in Crisis. This explores the efforts of Bremerhaven, another postindustrial German city, to make itself sustainable in the wake of Germany’s recent halt in its transition to renewable energies.

I have co-edited a special issue on ‘Time-Tricking’ (2016, Cambridge Journal of Anthropology), and published various journal articles and book chapters (please see below for details). In the future, I’m planning new research on social sustainability. What is social sustainability? How is sustainability itself sustained in the context of ongoing welfare state and austerity crises, such as Brexit and the refugee crisis? 

I have been interviewed at various points throughout my career by newspapers, includingThe New York TimesTheGuardianand Die Zeit. In Hoyerswerda I was involved with various outreach activities, including AnthroCamp, a research camp for urban youth in Hoyerswerda (video here); and the Malplattesociocultural art project (short film here).In Bremerhaven I am involved with applied projects on on climate change and CO2 reduction (I was interviewed on these projects here).

Previously, I studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge for my PhD (2012). Afterwards I held a fixed-term lectureship (Habilitationsstelle) at the University of Vienna (2012-2016). My work has been supported by several funding bodies, including the Fulbright Foundation; the Economic and Social Research Foundation, UK; the German National Study Foundation; and the Marie Curie Foundation.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Europe
  • Anthropology of the future
  • Anthropology of time
  • Postindustrial urban regeneration
  • Postsocialist anthropology
  • Social sustainability
  • Urban anthropology
  • Urban sustainability

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited Journal

  • Ringel, Felix & Morosanu, Roxana (2016). Time-Tricking: Reconsidering Temporal Agency in Troubled Times. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 34 (1): Berghahn.

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

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