Dr Yi’En Cheng researches on global education, transnational mobilities, and youth citizenship in Asian cities. He is particularly interested in subject formations and cultural regimes of class and gender. His past and ongoing projects include transnational marriage and familyhood, student migration and time-spaces, as well as neoliberalising higher education and youth citizenship. These works have been published in highly-regarded journals in the field of human geography, including Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Antipode, Environment & Planning A, Gender, Place & Culture, Global Networks, and Social & Cultural Geography. Methodologically, he is especially keen on the use of qualitative, ethnographic methods as a reflexive tool for interpreting social life.
Dr Cheng completed a PhD at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, as a recipient of the Oxford Clarendon Fund and St Peter’s Diggle Scholarship. He received a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours, 1st class) with a major in Geography and minor in Gender Studies in 2010, and a Master of Social Sciences in 2012, from the National University of Singapore. He is also an Associate at the Asian Migration cluster, Asia Research Institute.
Outside academia, Yi’En is an aspiring home cook always on the search for food recipes!
Dr Cheng’s present research examines educational change, citizenship, and youth urbanisms in Asian cities. This unfolds through ongoing projects on (i) liberal arts experiments in Asia and youth citizenship, (ii) young people’s temporary work across Asian cities.
● Youth urbanisms and im/mobilities
● Higher education and youth citizenship
● International student mobilities
● Transnational families, marriage, and gender
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
Cheng, YE (2018) Liberal arts educated citizen: experimentation, subjectification, and ambiguous contours of youth citizenship. Area, Early view. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12440
Cheng, YE (2018) Educated non-elites’ pathways to cosmopolitanism: the case of private degree students in Singapore, Social & Cultural Geography, 19, 2, 151-170.
Danicar, M.; Yeoh, BSA and Cheng, YE (2017) Crossing borders of state and religious power: reproductive mobilities in Singapore. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58, 2, 203-215.
Cheng, YE (2016) Critical geographies of education beyond ‘value’: moral sentiments, caring, and a politics for acting differently, Antipode, 48, 4, 919-936.
Cheng, YE (2016) Learning in neoliberal times: private degree students and the politics of value coding in Singapore, Environment and Planning A, 48, 2, 292-308.
Cheng, YE (2015) Biopolitical geographies of student life: private higher education and citizenship life-making in Singapore, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105, 5, 1078-1093.
Cheng, YE; Yeoh, BSA and Zhang, J (2015) Still ‘breadwinners’ and ‘providers’: Singaporean husbands, money, and masculinity in transnational marriages, Gender, Place & Culture, 22, 6, 867-883.
Cheng, YE (2014) Time protagonists: student migrants, practices of time, and cultural construction of the Singapore-educated person, Social & Cultural Geography, 15, 4, 385-405.
Cheng, YE (2014) Telling stories of the city: walking ethnography, mobile encounters, and affective materialities, Space and Culture, 17, 3, 211-223.
Yeoh, BSA; Chee, HL; Vu, TKD and Cheng, YE (2013) Between two families: the social meaning of remittances for Vietnamese marriage migrants in Singapore, Global Networks, 13, 4, 441-458.
Cheng, YE (2012) Transnational masculinities in situ: Singaporean husbands and their international marriage experiences, Area, 44, 1, 76-82.
Chapters in Books/Edited Volumes
Yang P., Cheng Y. (2018) Educational Mobility and Transnationalization. In: Gleason N. (eds) Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. Available: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0194-0_3
Cheng, YE (2016) Learning to labour in Singapore: cultural politics of education and human capital formation, in Tatek, A. and Waters, J. (eds) Labouring and Learning, Vol. 10 of Skelton, T. (ed) Geographies of Children and Young People, Singapore, Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-4585-97-2_11-1.
Yeoh, BSA; Huang, S and Cheng, YE (2015) Transnational domestic work and the politics of development, in Coles, A.; Gray, L. and Momsen, J. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development, London, Routledge, pp. 298-308.
Yeoh, BSA and Cheng, YE (2013) Singapore: from post-colonial plural society to globalizing city-state, in P. Spoonley and E. Tolley (eds) Diverse Nations, Diverse Responses: Approaches to Social Cohesion in Immigrant Societies, Canada, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 193-214.
Yeoh, BSA and Cheng, YE (2013) Family migration, in I. Ness and P. Bellwood (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, US, Wiley-Blackwell.
Cheng, YE (forthcoming) Passing through Shanghai: ethnographic insights into the mobile lives of expatriate youths, By Marie Sander, Reviewed in Children’s Geographies. DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2017.1365483
Cheng, YE (2014) Geographies of alternative education: diverse learning spaces for children and young people, By Peter Kraftl, Reviewed in Children’s Geographies, 12, 3, 369-370.
Cheng, YE (2011) Translocal geographies: spaces, places, connections – By Katherine Brickell and Ayona Datta, Reviewed in Localities, 1, 261-26.
Cheng, YE (2017) Is private higher education in Singapore a ‘second chance’ option?, Channel NewsAsia, 17 September.
Youth Urbanism: Global Trends, Local Perspectives
Introduction to Urban Studies
Methods in Social Sciences (Qualitative)