Kevin Wang


dphil kevin wang



Kevin Wang

DPhil candidate, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography



Kevin is a DPhil candidate in Migration Studies (Anthropology) based at COMPAS and is supervised by Prof. Michael Keith and Prof. Anna Lora-Wainwright. As of recent he has given various guest lectures regarding China’s urban transition and city development and has also aided in tutoring within Prof. Anna Lora-Wainwright’s undergraduate module on China in the Geography department. He has wide interests in topics related to urbanisation, planning, construction and the creation of cities as a practice. Although current focus is on China, his interests reach beyond to both developing and developed countries.  

Kevin currently holds an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford (Distinction), for which he awarded the Ko Prize for highest dissertation mark of the year (2017/2018). He also holds a BA Hons in Geography from King’s College London (First Class) and has previously studied/worked in multiple institutions in China that include, Fudan University (Shanghai), Beijing Forestry University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Normal University. 

DPhil topic

Under the title of 'Urban Futures – toward a new model of urbanisation and urban living in China?', this research looks at the recent establishment and creation of the new area of Xiong’an, just south of Beijing. Xiong’an New Area purportedly proposes a new model of development that aims to transfer Beijing’s non-capital population; create new modes of innovation; and act as a new socialist city for China’s modern era. Xiong’an has been given the status of China’s third national level development zone (after Shenzhen and Shanghai/Pudong) and carries resounding impacts and ideologies reflective of President Xi’s supposedly new urbanisation strategy for the future – namely ‘Chinese style new urbanism’. The theoretical conception and imagination of this place is ever evolving and for better or for worse, the conceptualised ideas from Xiong’an could potentially re-orientate a new trajectory for China’s urban future. In this sense, his personal aim is to understand new Chinese cities in a new perspective that moves beyond mainstream/common planning and urban narratives. The focus on Xiong’an involves understanding the logics and practises behind conceptualising, planning, constructing and governing a new city. Through the analysis of specific moments of city creation, we can actually reflect on the urban past and how it is reinterpreted to justify a specific urban future. The emerging DPhil thesis will focus on imagining the city, constructing the city, and governing the city. All together these forms into the logics of seeing the city and the kind of urban livelihoods it may yield.