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Dr. Gil Hizi

Dr. Gil Hizi

Fellow in the project "Social Worlds: China's Cities as Spaces of Worldmaking" (September-December 2022)

Short Biography

Gil Hizi is a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow in anthropology in the Global South Study Centre at the University of Cologne (PhD University of Sydney, 2018). He studies social change in China with the focus on concepts of personhood, interpersonal ethics and emotions. His field research has been mostly based in psychotherapeutic centres and extracurricular programmes of personal development. His articles have been published in journals of Anthropology and Asian Studies, including Ethos, Social Analysis, Asian Studies Review, and Hau.


Globalized Bodily Styles in Amateur Basketball in Urban China

This research is the first anthropological investigation of the most played and viewed sport in China. My study will focus on amateur basketball players and fans who attend the newly established “NBA Hoop Park” in Changsha. Through this investigation, I seek to explore of transnational flow cultural products and bodily styles, including the ways in which they materialize in individual performances and group interactions, as well as how they are mediated by newly designed urban spaces.

This research will examine how basketball is exercised across urban sites through the nexus of cultural idols, bodily styles, team interaction, and spatial settings. I adhere to James Carter’s (2002, 418) recommendation to examine sport in anthropology through “sportscapes,” i.e., “flow of people, practices, capitals, and institutions that constitute the fluid, irregular movements of sport across the globe and within localities,” where flows can produce both continuity and disjuncture. Ultimately, my methodological focus intersects two prisms in sport studies, one that examines the globalization of specific sports, including their cultural reconfiguration (or indigenization) in given societies, and the other that describes sport through ritualistic events that accentuate predominant social values and allow individuals to perform new identities.