Asia Global Institute
Helen Siu

Founding Director, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, HKU

Helen Siu

About Helen Siu

Professor Helen F. Siu, Founding Director of Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, is a professor of anthropology, and former Chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University.

Professor Siu's teaching interests are political and historical anthropology, urban and global culture change. Since the 1970s, she has conducted fieldwork in South China, exploring the nature of the socialist state, the refashioning of identities through rituals, festivals, and commerce. Lately, she explores the rural-urban divide in China, cross-border dynamics in Hong Kong, historical and contemporary Asian connections. She is the director of “Hubs, Mobilities and the Asian Urban” and “China-Africa Diasporas” research clusters at the Institute.

Professor Siu served on the University Grants Committee (1992 – 2001) and the Research Grant’s Council (1996 – 2001) in Hong Kong, for which she received the Bronze Bauhinia Star. In the U.S. she has served on the Committee for Advanced Study in China and the National Screening Committee for Fulbright awards in the U.S. Her monograph and co-edited volumes include Mao’s Harvest: Voices of China’s New Generation (Oxford 1983, co-editor Zelda Stern); Furrows: Peasants, Intellectuals and the State (Stanford 1990); Down to Earth: The Territorial Bond in South China (Stanford 1995, co-editor David Faure); Agents and Victims in South China: Accomplices in Rural Revolution (Yale 1989); Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity and Frontier in Early Modern China (California 2006, co-editors Pamela K. Crossley and Donald Sutton); SARS: Reception and Interpretation in Three Chinese Cities (Routledge 2007, co-editor Deborah Davis); Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population (Hong Kong University Press 2008, co-editor Agnes Ku); Merchants’ Daughters: Women, Commerce and regional Culture in South China (Hong Kong University Press 2010).


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