In March 2017, the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Future Cities invited Prof. Zhou to give a public lecture on settlement and transportation in China and a workshop on urban anthropology which is based on a case study of Fenghuang Village in Guangdong. In the Lecture, Prof. Zhou began with the context of “Road studies” and then analyzed the rapid development of transportation in China. He came up with a concept “Intermediate Elimination Effect,” which means that the closed highway is good to the development and resource accumulation in the big sites, but causes the decline of the little settlements between the sites. Also, the revolution of transportation results in compressed time-space in China and flattening social structure. In the Q&A section, Prof. Zhou discussed how multi-sited ethnography and comparative studies have become a new direction to do research in China.
In the workshop, Prof. Zhou argued that the aim to do follow-up study is to analyze the social changes and extend an academic study. Based on the study of Fenghuang Village, he developed a new concept “village in the town,” which means that a village has the characteristics as a town, but is still a village. Since a village has its own specific kind of planning, Prof. Zhou think this disturbed the government of town to conduct urbanization planning and development. After Prof. Zhou’s sharing, the graduate student in our department also shared their studies and had an in-depth discussion with all the participants in the workshop.