Dr. CHEUK Ka Kin (卓嘉健)

B.S.Sc, First Class Honours (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), MPhil (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), and DPhil (University of Oxford)


Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes
Willing to talk to media: yes


Ka-Kin Cheuk previously held teaching and research positions at Universiteit Leiden, NYU Shanghai, and Rice University. Trained as an anthropologist, his research revolves around the study of migration, transnationalism, and inter-Asian connections, with transregional focuses on China, Hong Kong, India, the Middle East, and Europe as well as the US and the UK. His recent publications include “Transient Migrants at the Crossroads of China’s Global Future” (a special issue of Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration 3:1, 2019), “Funny Money Circulation and Fabric Exports from China to Dubai through Indian Trading Networks” (American Behavioral Scientist 66, 2022), “Diasporic Convergence, Sustained Transience and Indifferent Survival: Indian Traders in China” (History and Anthropology, 2022),  “Teaching Ethnographic Research Methods in the Time of COVID-19: Virtual Fieldtrips, a Web Symposium, and Public Engagement with Asian American Communities in Houston, Texas” (Teaching and Learning Anthropology 4:1, 2021), and “Making Mumbai (in China)” (in Lisa Björkman, ed., Bombay Brokers, Duke University Press, 2021). At Rice University, he received three teaching grants, including an Inquiry-based Learning Teaching Grant and a Course Development Grant for developing new, alternative, and decolonizing teaching methods in Asian studies, Chinese studies, and anthropology. Having conducted fieldwork over the past decade on the Sikh diaspora in Hong Kong and on Indian traders in southeast China, he is currently developing a new project on the transnational flower industry and environmental ethics in China and Scotland.

卓嘉健(Dr. Ka-Kin Cheuk)先於香港中文大學取得人類學(一級榮譽)學士及人類學研究型哲學碩士學位,隨後在英國牛津大學獲得社會及文化人類學博士學位。他曾於香港中文大學、荷蘭萊頓大學、上海紐約大學及美國萊斯大學從事教學及研究工作。作為人類學家,他自2006年起就開展關於香港錫克移民群體及中國印度離散商人的研究,並在香港、中國及印度長期從事相關的民族學田野工作。其中新近的研究成果包括 “Diasporic Convergence, Sustained Transience and Indifferent Survival: Indian Traders in China” (History and Anthropology,2022)、「回鄉、探親與跨國聯繫:香港錫克家庭回訪印度的個案研究」(Hong Kong Studies,評審中)、“Inter-Asian Hinduism through the Material Lens in East Asian Diasporic Nodes” (In The Oxford Handbook for Hinduism,Oxford University Press,待刊)、Funny Money Circulation and Fabric Exports from China to Dubai through Indian Trading Networks” (American Behavioral Scientist,66:2,2022) 及 “Making Mumbai (in China)” (In Bombay Brokers,Duke University Press,2021)。



DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology (viva voce passed without correction) and The Swire Scholar at the St. Antony’s College with full scholarship, University of Oxford

MPhil in Anthropology (by research), The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Bachelor of Social Science in Anthropology (Honours, First Class), with concentration in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Previous Positions

Annette and Hugh Gragg Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Asian Studies, Chao Center for Asian Studies and Department of Transnational Asian Studies, Rice University

Postdoctoral Fellow of Global Interactions, Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University

Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Asia, New York University Shanghai

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University

Teaching and Research Assistant, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Recent Teaching

2022–present: City University of Hong Kong

CAH2536 Intangible Heritages and Indigenous Cultures

CAH3511 Hong Kong’s Culture and Heritage

CAH3853 Contemporary China from an Anthropological Perspective

CAH3862 Oral History and Field Study

2019–2021: Rice University, U.S.

ASIA/ANTH 212 Perspectives on Modern Asia (course cross-listed for Distribution 2 Social Science General Education credits, Spring 2021).

ASIA 305 Ethnographic Research In/Of Houston Asia (course cross-listed for Distribution 2 Social Science General Education credits, Fall 2020). 83% students rated the quality of this course ‘outstanding.’

ASIA 304 Human Mobility in the Asia-Pacific (an interdisciplinary and seminar-style Asian Studies course, Fall 2019 and Fall 2021). 83% students rated the quality of this course ‘outstanding.’

Guest lecturer for ASIA 205 Race in Modern Asia.
“Race and Racism in Modern China”, Spring 2021.


Competitive Grants (selected)

2021 Inquiry-Based Learning Teaching Grants, Experiential Inquiry and Research Fund, Rice University.

2021 “Seal of Excellence” under the EU Horizon 2020's Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions call H2020-MSCA-IF-2020.

2021 Remote Lectures, Symposia, and Speaker Series Grant, Humanities Research Center, Rice University.

2021 SSRC InterAsia Academy Fellowship: Integration and Disintegration in InterAsian Perspective.

2020 Course Development Grant for my course ASIA305 Ethnographic Research in/of Houston Asia, The Kinder Institute’s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning, Rice University.

2019 Transnational Asia Research Initiative (TARI) Funding for Faculty and Researchers, Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University.

Awards and Scholarships (selected)

2013–2014 Wing Yip and Brothers Bursaries, The Wing Yip Foundation, UK

2009–2013 Swire Cathay Pacific Scholarship, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford (Full funding for doctoral studies at Oxford, covering university and college fees, and a grant for living costs of £16,300 per year).

2012 Summer Programme Fellow (Elect), World Wide Asia: Asian Flows, Global Impacts, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and the Leiden Global Interactions Profile Area (LGI), Leiden.

2012  Prof. Makhanlal Roy Chaudhuri Book Grant, The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

2011–2012 Emerging Scholar (Elect), The India China Institute, The New School for Social Research, (One of the three elected Chinese scholars invited to take part in the Second Emerging Scholar Symposium in the India China Institute in New York City (full-funded).

2010 and 2011 Chinese Research Travel Award, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford

2011 The Carr & Stahl Travel Funds, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford

2011 The Oxford and Cambridge Society of Hong Kong Scholarship, The Oxbridge Society of Hong Kong

2011 The Gupta Dan Scholarship, The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

2010 The Au Ping-Reyes Graduate Research and Travel Grant, University of Oxford China Centre

2006–2008 Research Postgraduate Studentship Graduate School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, (Full-funding for MPhil study)

2006–2008 Mr. Y.S. Hui Postgraduate Scholarship, New Asia College, Chinese University of Hong Kong

2003–2006 Dean’s List, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2005/2006. 

Teaching Award

2020 Career Champion Certificate for my achievement in “educating, connecting, and empowering Owls [Rice University’s students] to find and make their place in the world.” Rice University’s Center for Career Development.

Services outside CityU

Professional Service (selected)

2018–present Editorial board member of Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration.

2009–present Peer reviewer for Asian Ethnicity, Anthropology and Humanism, Rice Asian Studies Review, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, Journal of World History, Journal of South Asian Studies, History and Anthropology, Asian Anthropology, Chinese Journal of Communication, International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, Journal of Sexual Medicine. Special issue reviewer for History and Anthropology (2017)

2021 Co-convener and seminar chair, Meet the Authors Speaker Series (MASS), Chao Center for Asian Studies, Humanities Research Center, and Department of Anthropology, Rice University

2019, 2020, 2021 Faculty host and seminar chair for the Transnational Asian Speaker Series, Rice University.

2018 Faculty speaker for the international promotion of the graduate and undergraduate degree programs, NYU Shanghai’s reception in India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India, 13 July.

2018 Panel organiser, “The Emerging China-Netherlands Flower Trade and its Eurasian Mobility Nexus.” Panel on Contemporary Eurasian Circuits and Circulations in the Third Annual Conference of the Center for Global Asia, New York University Shanghai, Shanghai. 2018.

2018 Faculty host and seminar chair for Prof. Magnus Marsden (Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Sussex), Center for Global Asia Monthly Lecture, NYU Shanghai, 29 January 2018.

2018 Faculty host and seminar chair for Prof. Li Zhang (Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis), Leiden University’s Institute for Area Studies, 11 October 2016

2017 Panel co-organizer “Living through Marginalization: Indian Traders in a Local Chinese Market.” On the Meanings of Marginalization: Memories, Histories, and Strategies among South Asian Diaspora, a panel co-organized with Dr. Priya Swamy (Leiden University) and Dr. Giacomo Mantovan (IIAS), International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 10, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 20-23 July 2017. (Panel discussant: Dr. Carola Erika Lorea).

2013 Conference organiser, Inaugural Oxford Migration Studies Society Annual Conference, “Migration: Theory and Practices”. 4 May 2013.

2012 Panel chair and organizer, “Middleman Traders in an Upgrading Economy: Indians in Keqiao, China.” Panel: The Future of Foreign Traders in China: Policy Concern and Agency’s Response. East Asian Anthropological Association Conference 2012: The World in East Asia/East Asia in the World. Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

2005–2009 Founding editor and co-editor of The Hong Kong Anthropologist, an open-access anthropological journal, published annually by The Hong Kong Anthropological Society. At http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ant/hka/.


Media Interviews

I have been interviewed by the local and international media outlets, including:

2019 Experts Present at Policy Reform in China Panel,” The Rice Thresher, Rice University’s student newspaper since 1916, 5 November 2019 (available online https://www.ricethresher.org/article/2019/11/experts-present-at-policy-reform-in-china-panel).

2018 “印度商人在紹興:邊緣生存, 邊緣批判 (Survivals and critiques from the margins: Indian traders in Shaoxing),” Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 23 March 2018 (available online https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/3iNx9u9kowA_iFFZOSJfFw and https://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant/sharing/897/).                  

2017 “Speaker Interview - Ka-Kin Cheuk: Little India in China,” the Young China Watchers (YCW) at http://www.youngchinawatchers.com/speaker-interview-ka-kin-cheuk-little-india-in-china/, 11 March 2017.

2017 “老外在中國:不做敵人,不做外賓,做個普通居民有多難 (Foreigners in China: Neither Enemies nor Guests, but how Difficult to be Ordinary Residents),” 端傳媒 (Initium Media, Hong Kong) (11 February 2017; available at https://theinitium.com/article/20170211-mainland-foreignermanagement/).

2017 “China wil de hoogvliegers vangen (China Wants to Attract Talents),” Trouw, The Netherlands, pp. 3 (10 January 2017; in Dutch).

2016 “輕紡城的人類學博士 (Anthropologist in a China Light Textile City),” 紹興日報 (Shaoxing Daily News, China), pp. 9 (23 November 2016; e-version at http://epaper.sxnews.cn/sxrb/resfile/2016-11-23/09/rb09RBZK9Cb23.pdf).

2016 “印度突廢紙幣引發社會混亂,莫迪到底怎麼想? (What Does Modi Think? Social Chaos and the Demonetization),” 端傳媒 (Initium Media, Hong Kong) (17 November 2016, available at https://theinitium.com/article/20161117-international-IndiaCurrency/).

Public Outreach and Knowledge Transfers

I have achieved significant impact outside academia by (a) giving public talks for the general public, (b) writing for newspapers and magazines, (c) organizing inter-community events for the ethnic minority populations, and (d) participating in knowledge-transfer events in think-tanks and other non-academic institutions. Please find more details about these activities below.

(a) Public talks:

Some of the public talks that I have delivered are listed as follows:

  • “南中國的印度人 (Indian communities in South China).” Fudan University. A public talk (in Mandarin) as part of the “德里瓦拉 Delhi-wali” Exhibition at the University Museum of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 20 June 2018.
  • “‘Little India’ in China: Indian traders in a Chinese fabric market”. A public talk (in English) for the Youth China Watchers (觀中社) at Grassroots Book Room (草根書室), 25 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore, 17 December 2016.
  • A public roundtable discussion (in English) with the Indian writer Dr Amitav Ghosh in Shanghai (阿米塔夫•高希上海圆桌会议), organized by the West Heaven (西天中土), a Shanghai-based public artist groups, at the Shanghai Mingfu Library (上海明复图书馆), Shanghai, 4 September 2016.
  • “绍兴柯桥轻纺市场的印度商人 (Indian merchants in the textile markets of Keqiao county of Shaoxing).” A public talk (in Mandarin) for Dinghaiqiao (定海桥), a 互助社 (mutual aid society) in 杨浦区(Yangpu District), Shanghai, 14 June 2016.
  • “Sikhs in Hong Kong” – a public talk in English, organized by the Hong Kong Anthropological Society, at The Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong, 17 April 2008.

(b) Writing for newspapers and magazines:

In addition to academic publishing, I also write for newspapers, blogs, and magazines that have a wide readership from the general public. I have published high-quality analysis on newspapers, magazines, and blog series in both English and Chinese. A selected list of my such publications can be found below:

2021    Cheuk, Ka-Kin. “Sindhi community in Hong Kong: A century-long tale of a South Asian diaspora.” VIRSA The Culture 8, 35­–37.

2014    Cheuk, Ka-Kin. “紹興、紹興⋯⋯與印度人Shaoxing, Shaoxing and ... Indians.” 《野外動向》Hong Kong Discovery, 84: 56 - 62. Reprinted in Cheung, Sidney Chin-Hung and Jiting Luo, eds.. 2015. 《公路上的人類學家》Anthropologists on the Road, 114 - 125. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Discovery Limited. [in both Chinese and English].

2013    Cheuk, Ka-Kin. “The Oxford Migration Studies Society: Conference News.” The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) Blog, University of Oxford. April 23. At https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/2013/the-oxford-migration-studies-society-conference-news/.

2012    Cheuk, Ka-Kin. “Some Thoughts on the Sikhs in Hong Kong and Mainland China.” Saanjh Vicharan Di (Magazine for the Indian Punjabi community of Hong Kong), 2 (June/July 2012): 6.

2011    卓嘉健(Cheuk, Ka-Kin)。「印度中菜統戰記-印式中餐的食物政治」(A Story of Ideological War in Indian Chinese Food: Its Food Politics)。《明報》 世紀版 (Mingpao Century Page) D06版, 26 August 2011.

2010    卓嘉健(Cheuk, Ka-Kin)。「風眼中,小小的中大新亞學系」(A Small New Asia College Department in the Eye of Cyclone)。《明報》 世紀版 (Mingpao Century Page) D06版, 10 May 2010.

(c) Inter-community events:

As a scholar with a long-term, ongoing ethnographic engagement with various minority populations and diasporic communities in Asia, I have been deeply committed in organizing events and activities that will facilitate cross-cultural communications and inter-ethnic dialogues.

For instance, in Fall 2021 I and my students co-organized a web symposium that aimed to cultivate dialogues and conversations among the three Asian American communities – namely Chinese, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians in Houston. The symposium led to in-depth discussions and conversations revolving around several timely topics, including how they have coped with the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. 62 people registered to join the web symposium and about 40 people were present in the Zoom room at the symposium’s peak time. Twenty-nine people – most of them members of the Chinese, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities, as well as university researchers and students – stayed for three hours in the web symposium, actively asking questions and sharing information.

Events such as this web symposium have successfully created public engagement that enhances mutual understanding and inter-community dialogues across various groups of people. Through these events I also have shown my ability to build creative external partnerships with several groups of ethnic minorities in different parts of the world.

(d) Knowledge-transfer events

I have been active in presenting and publishing my work for non-academic knowledge users, especially those who are consultants, policy-makers, and people working in think-tanks. Indeed, I strongly believe my in-depth ethnographic research can offer an unique value in creating positive policy impacts in China and beyond. Drawing on my long-term observations on South Asians in Zhejiang Province since 2009, I have developed myself as an expert on the policies, governance, and management that have been shaping the lives of foreign migrant populations in China. Some of the policy-oriented outputs of my research include:

2019  “China’s Silent Reforms: An Emergence of Foreign Immigration Governance.” Invited panellist and speaker at the Annual Politics of Reform Panel in China, organised at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, a top-ranking university-based thinktank based in the Rice University, 4 November 2019.

2018  Cheuk, Ka-Kin. “China-Dubai Textile Trade through Indian Connections.” Insights: Cities, States and their Arabian-Asian Networks 118: 11-15. A policy brief published by the Middle East Institute, a think-tank funded by the Singapore Government and hosted by the National University of Singapore.