Ping-hsiu Alice Lin is a socio-cultural anthropologist with interests in commodity chains, artisanship and labor, environmental colonialism and knowledge production, and China-Pakistan relations. She is currently completing her dissertation, “Precious Economies: Gems and Value-making from the Afghan-Pakistan Borderlands,” in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).
“Precious Economies” traces the supply chain of colored stones mined in Afghanistan and Pakistan to Thailand, approaching ideas of value and quality in the market by “following” notions of aesthetics, ethics, and authenticity as they circulate across different geographical scales. Anchored in fifteen months of fieldwork in a market in Peshawar—a city in Pakistan near the Afghan border—and visits to a range of other sites across Asia, the project examines the social worlds of miners, cutters, and shuttle traders at the starting nodes of this transnational trade. Her work has been funded by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, CUHK, and EHESS.
Ping-hsiu obtained a B.A in International Relations from Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientale (INALCO) and an MPhil in Asian Studies from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), where her thesis focused on the multi-generational histories of the ethnic Chinese in Pakistan. She has spent long periods studying and doing fieldwork in Pakistan, India, and Thailand.