Background and activities

Research Group: Temporalities of Mobility and Migration

Dr. Shuhua Chen is a research fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, NTNU. Her current project focuses on temporalities of home-in-movement, examining the challenging concept of ‘home’ in the contemporary world that is marked by its unprecedented mobility, and places individual experience as a focus of concerns upon cosmopolitan stands. It explores the interior experience of migration and home in different timescales: in moments, throughout the years of a life-course, and across generations. In particular, the project examines two practices of migration: first, the historical Chinese migration from South China to Southeast Asia (1820s to 1970s), and second, the contemporary internal rural to urban migration in China (1980s to present).

 

Before joining NTNU, Shuhua worked as a research fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK), where she led qualitative field research in China for the EU Horizon 2020 project AGRUMIG on migration and rural change in Europe, Asia and Africa. Shuhua received her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews in 2018. The research explores the Chinese migrants' phenomenology of home and their imaginary and practical construction of home and homemaking. She was an invited visiting scholar at the University at Buffalo (US) with the award of Nila T. Gnamm Junior Faculty Research Fund after her PhD and she taught at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews. Shuhua is also an associate at the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies, University of St Andrews (UK).  

 

Research Interests 

  • Cosmopolitan studies, existential anthropology, sensuous ethnography;
  • Home-in-movement, phenomenology of home, time & temporalities;
  • Migrant letters, remittances, archives & history, writing memory;
  • Sustainable urbanisation, soundscapes/foodscapes, walking knowledge;
  • Rural-urban migration in China, Nanyang migration, qiaopi letters, etc. 

Scientific Academic and Artistic Work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications here.

 

Journal publications 

Chen, S. (2022) Vulnerable homes on the move: An introduction (co-authored with Sara Bonfanti and Aurora Massa). Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (Issue 92).

Chen, S. (2017) Cosmopolitan imagination: A methodological quest for qiaopi archival research. Yearbook in Cosmopolitan Studies. Vol. 3

Chen, S. (2017) To my city: Urbanisation and industrialisation in contemporary China (creative submission). The Unfamiliar: An Anthropological Journal. Vol. 7 (1)

Chen, S. (2013) Making home away from home: A case study of archival research of the Nanyang emigration in China. Durham Anthropology Journal. Vol. 18(2).

 

Books and Special Issues

Chen, S. (2022) Theme Section: Vulnerable Homes on the Move (as co-guest editors with Sara Bonfanti and Aurora Massa). Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (Issue 92).

Chen, S. and Kelley, A. (2014) Approaching letters and letter writing. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

 

Part of book/report

Chen, S. (2021) The taste of home: Migrant foodscapes in marketplaces in Shantou, China. Food, Senses and the City.

Chen, S. (2018) Homeawayness and life-project building: Making home among rural-urban migration in China. Travelling towards home: Mobilities and homemaking.

Chen, S. (2015) Making home, making sense of the world: Archival research with qiaopi letters. Private and public voices: An interdisciplinary approach to letters and letter writing

Chen, S. (2015) The Qiaopi Museum, Shantou, Guangdong, China. Diaspora and Migration Studies, Dissertation Reviews

Chen, S. (2014) Writing letter and making home: Archival research of qiaopi and Chinese emigrants. Approaching letters and letter writing

Chen, S. and Kelley, A. (2014) Approach to letter and letter writing: An introduction. Approaching letters and letter writing

 

Awards

AGRUMIG EU H2020 Postdoc Research Fellowship (2020)

Nila T. Gnamm Junior Faculty Research Fund (2019)

First Prize of David Riches Medal (2014)

Ladislav Holy Memorial Trust (2014)

The Great Britain-China Educational Trust (2013)

RC21 Fellowship for the RC21-IJURR-FURS Summer School (2013)

Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies Scholarship, University of St Andrews (2012-17)

The Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies Fellowship (2012-14)

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship (2011)

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Books

  • Chen, Shuhua. (2014) Approaching Letters and Letter Writing. 2014. ISBN 978-1-84888-318-5.

Part of book/report

  • Chen, Shuhua. (2021) The taste of home: migrant foodscapes in marketplaces in Shantou, China. Food, Senses and the City.
  • Chen, Shuhua. (2018) Homeawayness and life-project building: Making home among rural-urban migration in China. Travelling towards Home: Mobilities and Homemaking.
  • Chen, Shuhua. (2015) Making Home, Making Sense of the World: Archival Research with Qiaopi Letters. Private and Public Voices: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Letters and Letter Writing.
  • Chen, Shuhua. (2014) Writing Letters and Making Home: Archival Research of Qiaopi and Chinese Emigrants. Approaching Letters and Letter Writing.