Department of Politics and Society

Event by Department of Politics and Society

Call for papers: Categories, Digital Reconfiguration and Mobility in China. Photo: A worker resting from rebuilding a previous village into an ordered urban neighborhood, Chengdu, 2018. © Christian Lund 2018

Categories, Digital Reconfiguration and Mobility in China

Call for papers.


18.05.2022 - 20.05.2022


The conference is a joint opening conference for the Network Categorizing People and Resources in Contemporary China (CatCh) and the Moving Data - Moving People (MDMP) project on mobility and China’s social credit system. The conference aims to provide an open interdisciplinary forum for discussing the potential of categorization and configuration as original and innovative approaches to study social life, relations, practices, and governance in China. Against a backdrop of increasing digitalization and strained relations of trust, how are technologies of categorization and configuration reproduced and transformed in social relationship and digital governance?

The conference especially invites papers on the following three themes:

  • histories of categorization. (e.g. historical forms of social categorization, reconfiguration of categorization based on for instance gender, place of origin and ethnicity)
  • digital categorization. (e.g. the Social Credit System, digital reconfiguration, defining and selecting digital indicators, blacklisting, digital governance, health apps and Covid-19 governance)
  • mobility and categorization. (e.g. domestic and international migration, digital spatial boundaries, grid management, Covid-19 and mobility

The conference will organize sessions that contain both oral presentations and work in progress papers, the latter with extended feedback.

Keynote speakers

Plans for the Future

The opening conference will be the starting point for establishing the CatCh network as a forum for developing research on the reconfiguration of categories in contemporary China. During the coming three years, the network will organize a number of workshops on for instance histories of categorization, digital categorization, and ethnographies of categorization, as well as potentially a PhD course. Conference participants are invited to take part in open discussions of future network activities

Deadlines and practicalities

  • 15 February 2022, submit an abstract allocated to one of the three specific themes (250 words) to
  • 1 March 2022, acceptance of abstracts
  • 30 April 2022, submit paper draft (work-in-progress is welcome – even just 2,000 words outlining your work)

There is funding available for travel and hotel reimbursements - let us know if you will need this when you submit your abstract. Early career researchers will be given priority.

Conference Conveners

University of Copenhagen, The IT University of Copenhagen, and Aalborg University. 

Please contact Jesper Zeuthen ( if you have any questions about the conference.

Photo: A worker resting from rebuilding a previous village into an ordered urban neighborhood, Chengdu, 2018. © Christian Lund 2018.


University of Copenhagen in co-operation with Aalborg University and The IT University of Copenhagen