Social and Cultural Geographies (SCG)

The Research Group


There is a rich tradition of social and cultural geography research in the Department. Long-term strengths include scholarship on cultural/heritage landscapes, migration and transnationalism, and geographies of tourism.

The Social and Cultural Geographies research group has built upon those existing strengths and sought to foster other strands of research, such as children and young people’s geographies, and geographies of urban life. In each case, the emphasis is on empirical analyses of social and cultural transformation in Asia, as well as theorization from Asia.


The Vision and Role of the Social and Cultural Geographies Research Group

Vision: The vision of SCG is to develop and sustain an open, engaged and engaging intellectual community of faculty, students and visiting scholars interested in exploring the multiple fields of social and cultural geography.

More specifically, SCG aims to:

  • bring Asian lenses to scholarship in the fields of social and cultural geography;
  • develop research projects and programmes to support and inform our research;
  • generate and contribute to methodological innovations in the field;
  • showcase our work through discipline-leading publications, whether papers or books;
  • generate impact by making our work accessible and contributing to policy discussions and public debates;
  • attract first class graduate students to join us in our work;
  • invite key scholars in the field from other institutions to visit the Department and NUS;
  • bring our research to bear in the undergraduate teaching programme;
  • provide a supportive environment and a constructive ethos for all staff and graduates;
  • and support early career scholars, both staff and graduates, as they develop their research and establish themselves in the field

Main research areas: our research is continually evolving, collectively and individually. However key areas of current and emerging research include:

  • Children and young people’s geographies
  • Cities and cultural economy
  • Cultural/heritage landscapes
  • Development geographies
  • Geographies of identity
  • Geographies of tourism
  • Geographies of urban life
  • Migration and transnationalism
  • Social inclusions and exclusions


The Role of SCG

The group usually meets about once a week during semester time. Members of the Geography academic staff, graduate students, visitors, and students and staff from other departments at NUS are welcome to attend. We provide a supportive forum where embryonic papers are presented, important publications dissected, methodological innovations deliberated and new research initiatives discussed.

Academic Staff

Research Projects

Members of SCG are involved in a large number of research projects. Many of these projects are inter-disciplinary, reaching beyond the group. They also often include co-investigators from other NUS departments and from institutions in other countries. Project details are provided under staff members’ personal web pages.

Children and young people’s geographies

  • Child Health and Migrant Parents in South-East Asia (CHAMPSEA): Wave II (Brenda SA Yeoh)
  • Youth Labour Market Integration Policies and Practices in Singapore and Canada (Tracey Skelton and Kiran Michandani [University of Toronto])

Cities and Urban Life

Development Geographies

  • Cosmopolitan Development: The Impacts of International Volunteering (Tracey Skelton and Susanne Schech [Flinders University])

Mobilities and Transnationalism

  • Ageing, care circulation and transnational care ethics (Elaine Ho, Shirlena Huang, Thang Leng Leng and Brenda SA Yeoh)
  • Borders, Mobilities and Transnational Infrastructures (James Sidaway, Vatthana Pholsena [Southeast Asian Studies, NUS] and Lin Weiqiang)
  • China-Myanmar Borderland Migrations (Elaine Ho)
  • Migration Infrastructures and the Constitution of (Im)mobilities (Brenda SA Yeoh, Johan Lindquist [Stockholm University], Xiang Biao [University of Oxford] and Lin Weiqiang)
  • The Assemblage of Airspace in Singapore (Lin Weiqiang)
  • The Global City of Encounters: Migration, Precarity and Diversity in Asian Urbanism (Brenda SA Yeoh and Ye Junjia [Massey University])
  • “What does it mean to be Singaporean”: National Identity and Immigrant-citizen Relations in Singapore (Shirlena Huang and Eric Thompson [Sociology, NUS])

Geographies of Identity

  • Changing Ethnicities: Peranakans and Eurasians across Generations (Brenda SA Yeoh and Esther Rootham, [independent scholar])
Click here for list of completed projects

Graduate Research

SCG welcomes applications from suitably qualified prospective graduate students, particularly those working in the fields outlined in the introductory tab to the SCG pages. Those interested in pursuing graduate work in these or allied fields should, in the first instance, contact a potential supervisor. Further details on how apply to Geography at NUS can be found here. Details on funding opportunities are available here.


SCG welcomes many international visitors, some on funded NUS fellowships, others financed through other sources. If you are keen to visit Geography at NUS and work in the social and cultural field then please contact Tracey Skelton. Further details on fellowships can be found here.

Visiting Professors

Helga Leitner, Institute of Global Studies, University of Minnesota (Feb-May 2009)

Visiting Scholars Scheme / Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellows (IMMF)

Ann E. Bartos, School of Environment, Auckland University (October 3-16 2016)

Tim Oakes, Department of Geography, University of Colorado (January 2014)

Tim Oakes-"The IMMF scheme was a great opportunity to work with colleagues in Geography and take advantage of the dynamic research environment at NUS. It was especially valuable to have the time to think about and develop new collaborative projects."
L-R: Harng Luh, Tim, and Chris McMorran

Mark Boyle, Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Sept-Oct 2012)
Sallie Marston, School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona (April 2012)

"I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to visit NUS Geography for an extended period, thanks to the IMMF scheme.  It was stimulating to be able to spend time with colleagues and students presenting my work and discussing my plans for a Singapore-based project.  NUS-Geography is an impressive department full of smart and highly productive faculty, grads and administrative staff and Singapore is an interesting and engaging place to visit. I'd go back in a heartbeat!"
Sallie Marston

Linda Malam, Department of Geography, University of Otago (June 2011)
Katharyne Mitchell, Department of Geography, University of Washington (Feb 2011)

Linda Peake, Department of Social Science, York University (Feb-Mar 2009)
Jonathan Beaverstock, University of Loughborough (23 Feb to 9 Mar 2009)
Simon Guy, University of Manchester, (3 to 29 May 2009)

Amanda Wise, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University (Jan-Feb 2008)




Editorial Board

Bunnell, Tim

  1. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Co-editor, (2012- present)
  2. ARI-Springer book series (Cities section)
  1. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde
  2. Dialogues in Human Geography
  3. Environment and Planning A
  4. Pacific Affairs

Chang, T.C.

  1. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Associate-editor, (2012-present)

  1. Asian Companion to Current Issues
  2. Asian Journal of Tourism Research
  3. Current Issues in Tourism
  4. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

Ho, Elaine  
  1. Citizenship Studies,
  2. Emotions, Space and Society
  3. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography

Huang, Shirlena

  1. Asian Cultural Studies: Transnational and Dialogic Approaches
  2. Gender, Place and Culture
  3. International Journal of Population Research
  4. Migration, Mobility & Displacement
  5. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
  6. Sojourn
  7. The Intimate and the Public in Asian and Global Perspectives
  8. Women’s Studies International Forum

Lin, Weiqiang

  1. Mobility in History, The Yearbook of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility, Assistant Editor (2015 to present)

Pow, Choon Piew



  1. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
  2. British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
  3. Urban Planning
  4. Urban Geography
  5. Social and Cultural Geography
  6. Board member/ Trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation

Ramdas, Kamalini

  1. Gender, Place and Culture

Skelton, Tracey

  1. Viewpoints Editor (2005-present) and Commissioning Editor for Asia, (2010-present)
  2. Editor-in-Chief Handbook of Geographies of Children and Young People, Springer Major Reference Work (12 volumes)

  1. Geoforum
  2. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
  3. Geography Compass (development section) 
  4. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies

Yeoh, Brenda

  1. Asian Population Studies (2015 to present)
  2. ARI-Springer Asia Series Series Editor, (2009 to present)
  1. Applied Mobilities
  2. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal
  3. Cultural Geographies
  4. Development, Justice & Citizenship, part of the ‘IPE, Development and Environment’ book series within Palgrave Macmillan
  5. Diversities
  6. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
  7. Finisterra
  8. Gender, Place and Culture
  9. Gender, Technology and Development
  10. Geography Compass
  11. Geographical Research
  12. Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation (GOJST) Series
  13. I.B. Tauris&rrsquo; Monograph Series on Historical Geography Series
  14. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS)
  15. Medical History
  16. Migration and Development Journal
  17. Migration, Mobility and Displacement
  18. Migration Studies
  19. Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Diversity (MJSD)
  20. NIAS’ Gendering Asia Book Series
  21. Progress in Human Geography
  22. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
  23. Studies on Women & Gender Abstracts
  24. The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs

Graduate Research

SCG welcomes applications from suitably qualified prospective graduate students, particularly those working in the fields outlined in the introductory tab to the SCG pages. Those interested in pursuing graduate work in these or allied fields should, in the first instance, contact a potential supervisor. Further details on how apply to Geography at NUS can be found here.

RESEARCH scholarship opportunities
NUS and the Department of Geography offer scholarships for Graduate Research. Details on funding opportunities are available here.