Kevin Wang

kevin wang grand union dtp

Migration (2019 cohort)

My research focuses on urbanisation in Asia and how its narratives of urban life continuously transform our understandings of cities and society at a global level. In specific to this DPhil I look at China’s urban transformation and how it has, so far, been dominated by rural to urban migration, and mor recently a process of centralisation and urban agglomeration – creating an ever increasingly divided society in terms of urban living. However, under President Xi, the country has supposedly embarked on a different urbanisation strategy for the future – namely ‘Chinese style new urbanism’. Within this logic was the publication of plans for the high-profile new district of Xiong’an – that proposes new modes of development, urbanisation and societal life. Situated just south of Beijing, Xiong’an has been given the status as the third national level development zone (after Shenzhen and Shanghai/Pudong). The theoretical conception and imagination of this place is ever evolving and for better or for worse, conceptualised ideas from Xiong’an could potentially re-orientate Chinese urban futures into a new trajectory. In this sense, my own personal aim is to understand Chinese cities in a new perspective that moves beyond mainstream/common planning and urban narratives.             

I am reading a DPhil in Migration Studies (Anthropology) under the supervision of Prof. Michael Keith and Prof. Anna Lora-Wainwright. I hold an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford (Distinction) and a BA Hons in Geography from King’s College London (First Class). I have also studied/worked in multiple institutions in China that include, Fudan University (Shanghai), Beijing Forestry University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Normal University. In 2018 I received the Ko Prize for highest dissertation mark of the year during my MSc at Oxford.