About Us
Sea Ling CHENG
Sea Ling CHENG

Associate Professor

Office NAH 304
Office Tel. 3943 7673
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Educational qualification Ph.D. University of Oxford


Prof. Sealing Cheng received her doctorate from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University. She was then a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellow in Gender, Sexuality, Health, and Human Rights at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. In January 2005, she began teaching at Wellesley College in the US. Her research is focused on sexuality with reference to sex work, human trafficking, women’s activism, and policy-making. Her book, On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea (University of Pennsylvania Press 2010) received the Distinguished Book Award of the Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association in 2012.

Research interests

Sex work, human trafficking, women’s activism, and policy-making, HIV/AIDS campaigns and policies, The Vagina Monologues and transnational feminism, the politics of representation in anti-trafficking discourses, pedagogical issues in women’s and gender studies and Asian studies

Geographical areas of research

South Korea, Hong Kong SAR

Courses taught

ANTH 1020 Anthropology: The Study of Culture

ANTH 2530/UGEC 2622 Political Violence and Human Rights

ANTH 3321/ANTH 5321 Topics in Anthropology: Anthropology of Gender and the Law

ANTH 3360 Anthropology of Body, Love and Emotions

Current research

GRF 2015-7  Love’s Refuge: The Meanings of Intimacy for African Asylum-seekers and Refugees in Hong Kong


CUHK Faculty of Arts Outstanding Teaching Award 2014

Distinguished Book Award, Sexualities Section, American Sociological Association, 2012

Teaching experiences

2011-2012 Associate Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Wellesley College.

2005-2011 Henry Luce Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, Wellesley College.

2008-2015 Facilitator, Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute, CREA, Istanbul, Turkey.

2004-2007 Instructor, Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture, and Society, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Internal positions held

Executive Committee member, Gender Research Centre, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies

Selected Publications



On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Book chapters and journal articles

2014 (co-authored with Eunjung Kim)“The Paradoxes of Neoliberalism: Migrant Korean Sex Workers in the U.S. and ‘Sex Trafficking’” Social Politics 21(3): 355-381.

2013 “Private Lives of Public Women: Photos of Sex Workers Minus the Sex in South Korea.” Sexualities Vol.16 (1/2): 30-42.    

2011 “The Paradox of Vernacularization: Women’s Human Rights and the Gendering of Nationhood.” Anthropological Quarterly 84(2):475-506.

2011 “Sexual Protection, Citizenship, and Nationhood: Prostituted Women and Migrant Wives,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. December 2011.

2009 Questioning Global Vaginahood: Reflections from adapting The Vagina Monologues in Hong KongFeminist Review. Summer 2009.

2008 “Muckraking and Stories Untold: Ethnography Meets Journalism on Trafficked Women and the U.S. Military,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy. Vol. 5(4):6-18.

2005 “Popularizng Purity: Gender, Sexuality, and Nationalism in HIV/AIDS prevention for South Korean Youths.” Asia Pacific Viewpoint. Vol.46 (1):7-20.

2004 Interrogating the Absence of HIV/AIDS Prevention for Migrant Sex Workers in South Korea.” Health and Human Rights (2004) Vol 7(2):193-204   

2001 “Assuming Manhood: Prostitution and Patriotic Passions in Korea” in East Asia: an international quarterly. Vol 18(4):40-78.


Sealing Cheng on the Paradoxes of Neoliberalism, Barnard Center for Research on Women, https://vimeo.com/72002039


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