CGA Postdoctoral Fellow 2018
PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology
University of Oxford
Ka-Kin Cheuk completed his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He is now Annette and Hugh Gragg Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Asian Studies at Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, he was Postdoctoral Researcher at Leiden University’s Institute for Area Studies, where he was a research member of the Europe–China interdisciplinary research consortium on “Immigration and the Transformations of the Chinese Society” (2015–2018). Trained as a social and cultural anthropologist, Ka-Kin has conducted long-term ethnographic research on Sikh migrants in Hong Kong and Indian textile-traders in southeast China.
Ka-Kin’s on-going book project is an ethnographic study of a third-tier Chinese city called Keqiao. A municipal district located in eastern Zhejiang Province, Keqiao is not only a global trading frontier in Asia, but also a “Little India” in China. Its wholesale market accounts for one-third of the annual turnover of China-made semi-finished textiles before being exported to over 180 ports around the world. This makes Keqiao one of the major textile-trading centers in Asia. In the local fabric market, Indian traders have established a particularly vibrant trading economy, exporting large quantities of fabrics not only to South Asia, but also to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, eastern Europe, West Africa, and South America. Based on two periods of fieldwork in 2010–2012 and 2016–2017, this project aims to demonstrate the significance of this trade in terms of its transnational connectivity and global economic influences. Ka-Kin has published articles in journals, including the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, and edited a journal special issue titled “Transient Migrants at the Crossroads of China’s Global Future” for Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration (Intellect Ltd).