Portraitfoto Geoffrey Aung

Geoffrey Rathgeb Aung, BA MA MPhil PhD

Research Associate (PostDoc) / Lecturer
Member of Research Group Sedimented Visions

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
NIG, 4th floor
Room: A0408

T: +43-1-4277-49506
E-Mail: geoffrey.aung@univie.ac.at

Office Hours

Individual appointments via e-mail to



Current Courses: u:find

Past Courses: u:find

Research Focus Areas

  • finance and financial frontiers
  • currency and speculation
  • value and valorisation
  • time, temporality, and historicity
  • infrastructure and logistics
  • ports, economic zones, and trade corridors
  • displacement and dispossession
  • activism and social movements
  • colonial, postcolonial, and racial capitalism
  • relationality, materiality, and technopolitics
  • Myanmar, Southeast Asia, inter-Asia, the transpacific

Short Biography

Geoffrey Aung is a postdoctoral research and teaching associate (Universitätsassistent) in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Between political and economic anthropology, his research examines the aesthetics, politics, and historicity of large-scale infrastructure and logistics projects on Asia’s capitalist frontiers.

Anchored by long-term fieldwork in Myanmar’s southern borderlands, his current book project is an ethnographic study of popular politics and political struggle around a major deep-sea port and special economic zone project.

Having recently completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University, Geoffrey is also embarking on a new project at the University of Vienna tentatively titled Total Images/Image Work. It asks how still and moving images mediate political conflict under Myanmar’s new military regime, especially along vital logistical trade corridors. Geoffrey’s research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholarship.

Selected Publications

Book project
  •  Slow Fires: The Political Life of Logistics on a Capitalist Frontier. Book manuscript in preparation.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


Other journal articels (selected)
Article Manuscripts in Preparation
  • 2024. “Speculation, Ruination, Confrontation: Making and Unmaking an Economic Zone.” American Ethnologist, to be re-submitted summer 2023.
  • 2024. “Logistical Turbulence: Rethinking Violence and Valorisation along the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, to be submitted summer 2023.
  • 2024. “Locating Plantation Capitalism: Race, Labor, Life.” Review article to be submitted to Dialectical Anthropology, summer 2023.
  • 2024. “Introduction: Bringing Imperialism back in: For an Anthropology against Empire in the 21st Century.” Introduction (co-authored with Stephen Campbell) to special issue (co-edited with Stephen Campbell) for Dialectical Anthropology, titled “Bringing Imperialism back in.” To be submitted fall 2023.
  • 2024. “Imperialism and the Myanmar Radical Tradition.” Research article (co-authored with Stephen Campbell) as part of the “Bringing Imperialism back in” special issue in Dialectical Anthropology, to be submitted fall 2023.
  • 2023. “A Revolutionary Present.” Contribution to the Cultural Anthropology “Theorizing the Contemporary” series “Back to the Present,” to be submitted fall 2023.