GONG Chen 公晨
PhD Student (Admitted in 2023 – 2024)
Field Area: Anthropology
Gong Chen is a PhD student at the Institute, under the supervision of Prof. David A. Palmer, with Dr. Samson Bezabeh (African Studies) as his co-supervisor. Before entering the PhD program, Chen had been educated and worked in the field of sports and martial arts for more than ten years.
Chen's research interests are informed by both wen (文/civil, academic) and wu (武/martial, corporeal) experiences in Chinese martial arts (CMA). During his first master's degree, Chen conducted research on the modernization of CMA (1900-1940) by a historical approach, while beginning his apprenticeship in certain traditional northern-style martial arts in Beijing. After graduation, Chen worked at an International Federation that governs Wushu Kungfu globally with over 150 national members. With a mounting interest in Anthropology, he later completed his MA in Anthropology at CUHK.
Gong Chen is a member of the “Global China Local Cultures” research project in the ASIAR research cluster of the Institute. Chen’s PhD project proposes to trace the unexpected while longstanding popularity of Chinese martial arts in Egypt, at the disciplinary intersection of anthropology, sociology, history, and regional studies, as well as his experience and training. Through the lens of this iconic cultural symbol and its global circulations, this project aims to deepen our understanding of China in the world and shed light on the cultures of Egypt, the Middle East, the Arab World, and Africa.
Body and Embodiment, China, Egypt, Sports, Chinese Martial Arts