“Between Empires: Central European Jewish Refugees and Chinese Residents in Wartime Shanghai, 1937-1948”
Ms. Kimberly Cheng is currently PhD Candidate in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at New York University. Her major field is Modern Jewish History and her minor field is Modern Chinese History. She also holds a M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. from Cornell University in History and Jewish Studies. Ms. Cheng's research languages include Chinese, German, and Hebrew.
Previously, Ms. Cheng served as the 2018-2019 Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellow at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and as a member of the 2018-2019 Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme as supported by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. Ms. Cheng has presented her research at numerous conferences, including the annual meetings for The American Historical Association, The Association for Asian Studies, and The German Studies Association.
Ms. Cheng was awarded a 2019-2020 Sosland Fellowship for her research project, “Between Empires: Central European Jewish Refugees and Chinese Residents in Wartime Shanghai, 1937-1948.” This research examines Central European Jewish refugee life in Shanghai during World War II, with a focus on Sino-Jewish encounters in daily life. During her tenure at the Mandel Center, Ms. Cheng will use the museum’s archival holdings to survey the range of and limitations to sites of contact between Jewish refugees and their Chinese neighbors. In particular, she seeks to apply frameworks of empire to understand how living on the margins of the colonial concession system in China impacted refugees’ attitudes and behaviors. With this approach, Ms. Cheng endeavors to integrate Asia into the growing field of Holocaust geographies and to contribute to the imperial turn in Holocaust Studies more broadly.