Leiden University, the Netherlands
Ka-Kin Cheuk is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). He is also a Post-Doctoral Associate at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME), University of Oxford. He completed his DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the St. Antony’s College and as a doctoral student at the University of Oxford, was affiliated with the ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS).
Ka-Kin’s doctoral thesis research was an ethnographic study in Keqiao, a municipal district of eastern Zhejiang Province, China. Keqiao is China’s trading frontier for fabrics, the semi-finished textiles that are industrially weaved, knitted, dyed, and printed in bulk before being exported. Accounting for the turnover of one-third fabrics made in China, Keqiao is the world trade centre for this type of commodity. Drawn by the enormous trade opportunities, around 5,000 Indians have migrated to Keqiao as locally-based traders. Based on fieldwork between 2010 and 2012, it examined how Indians establish and run their trade business in Keqiao. Focusing on the small-scale Indian traders, the thesis explicated the everyday significance of their business strategies, as it sustains a systemic resistance in combating their precarious position in the global economy.
As a post-doctoral researcher for Immigrants in China, Ka-Kin seeks to further develop his ethnographic works in Keqiao, particularly those related to the local governance of foreign traders. Through conducting more fieldwork in 2016 and 2017, he is turning his thesis into some journal articles and a monograph.
Fabrics from China to the World: Indian-Chinese Trade Encounters in a Local Chinese Market (working title). Monograph in preparation.
“Everyday Diplomacy among Indian Traders in a Local Chinese Market.” The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 34(2): 42-58. (2016)
“Sikhs in China and Hong Kong.” In Knut A. Jacobsen, Gurinder S. Mann, Eleanor Nesbitt, and Kristina Myrvold, eds, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Sikhism. Leiden: Brill. (forthcoming in August 2017)
“Mapping Migration Scapes: The Infrastructure of Migration to and from China,” a panel co-organized with Prof. Frank Pieke, Association of Asia Studies (AAS) in Asia Annual Conference, Kyoto, Japan, 24 June 2016.
“Global Fabric Bazaar: An Ethnographic Study of Indian Traders in a Local Chinese Market.” Invited paper presentation in Asia and Intra-Asian Connections: Annual Conference of the Center for Global Asia, New York University Shanghai, Shanghai, 23 August 2016.
“G20, Global Fabric Trade and a Local Chinese Market.” Invited paper presentation in Mobility in Contemporary China: Imaginaries, Technologies and Power, workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany, 29 September 2016.