PhD candidate / contract
Zifan Meng is a PhD candidate in the relationship between urban spaces and their inhabitants, especially focusing on the spatial practices and everyday lives of the migrant population in urban areas. In her previous studies, she had moved from Chinese literature and linguistics to folklore at Beijing Normal University (BNU), and eventually started an adventure at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology of Leiden University.
Zifan has received a Master of Arts degree with her dissertation titled “City, Floating and a ‘place of ones' own’: Spatial Practices of Inhabitants of an Urban Village in Central Beijing”. She embarks on people-space relations and the interactions of inhabitants developed in the settlements of the floating population through their daily activities and narration, revealing the production and reproduction of places and spaces in the urban area. Recently, she is passionate about topics in urban and spatial studies, including the process and consequences of urbanization, the reconstruction of old urban areas and urban villages, the production of material and cultural space, the experiences and spatial sensations of migrant populations in urban areas, etc.
Before devoting to the current project, Zifan has conducted several fieldworks on the traditional handicrafts and intangible heritages of three ethnic groups in Yunnan Province, the southwestern part of China, depicting their heritagization and changes in the present society. She is also interested in ethnographic films and photography, being open to exploring the diversity of different cultures and societies.