Christian Ernsten

Christian Ernsten is Assistant Professor in Cultural History in the Department of History of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. He is affiliated with the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation, and Heritage (MACCH). He holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Cape Town. He received an MA from the University of Groningen (with distinction) and an MPhil (with distinction) from the University of Cape Town. He has held visiting research fellowships at the Conservation Department of the University of Gothenburg, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam, and the Centre for Uses of the Past at Aarhus University. His research is situated at the intersection of the fields of heritage studies, urban studies and postcolonial studies. He specializes in the study of the heritage practices involved conservation and design of urban and natural landscapes, both locally and globally. Currently, his work is mainly focused on issues of water and heritage. He is engaged with a research project on water heritage in the Western Cape region in South Africa.

List of recent publications:

Ernsten, C. (2019) “Utopia and Dystopia in the Post-Apartheid City: The Praxis of the Future in Cape Town”, Social Dynamics: Journal of African Studies 45:2, 286-302

Ernsten C. (2018) The "Bigger Picture": How the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 World Design Capital Events Conditioned Cape Town’s Urban Transformation. Urban Forum 29, 63–84.

Ernsten, C., Shepherd, N., and Visser, D-J. (2018) The Walking Seminar: Embodied Research in Emergent Anthropocene Landscapes. Amsterdam: ON AIR, Amsterdam University of Arts.

Ernsten, C. and N. Shepherd. (2017) “Goede Hoop na #RhodesMustFall”. NRC newspaper, C8–9.

Ernsten, C. (2017) “A Renaissance with Revenants: Images Gathered from the Ruins of Cape Town’s Districts One and Six”. In: L. McAtackney and K. Ryzewski (eds). Contemporary Archaeology and the City: Creativity, Ruination, and Political Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 211–228.

Ernsten, C. (2017) “The Dead of Cape Town’s District One”, International Journal of Heritage Studies 23:6, 575–586.

Ernsten, C. (2015) “The Ruins of Cape Town’s District Six”, Archaeologies 11, 342–371.

Ernsten, C. (2014) “Following the Ancestors: A Genealogy of Urban Design in Cape Town: 6 moments”, Archaeologies 10, 108–131.