Full-time Academic Staff

  • Teaching Staff

Dr. J.J. Zhang 張家傑 助理教授

B.Soc.Sci (Hons) NUS; M.Soc.Sci NUS; PhD Durham, UK
Assistant Professor

Office: 1008
Office: +852 3917-2841

J.J. Zhang obtained his PhD in the field of cultural geography from the University of Durham, UK. Before going to Durham, he completed his M.Soc.Sci in Geography (2009) at the National University of Singapore. He also holds a B.Soc.Sci. (First Class Honours) in Geography (2007) from the same university. His research interests lie in the intersection of cultural geography, landscape governance, tourism and geopolitics. Issues pertaining to the cultural-geo-political dimensions of a tourism landscape as they unfold at the 'lived' and 'everyday' levels are what stimulate his inquisitive mind. 

Born and raised in Singapore, he is the third generation of Kinmenese immigrants on the island state. His grandparents settled in Singapore, from the island of Kinmen (Quemoy), Taiwan. J.J's ancestry has drawn him back to Kinmen several times. Since being introduced to Kinmen's battlefield heritage, he has been inspired by its rich legacy, and has since based his research on the island's battlefield tourism landscape. Interest in this former Cold War frontier and its people has contributed significantly to his continual inquiry into the implications of cross-border tourism for China-Taiwan relations in the wider geopolitical context. His work on the material cultures of memory and identity seeks to go well beyond the usual state led initiatives to look at how commercial culture is shaping and responding to memories and cross-strait movements.
Research Interests
  • Cultural-geo-politics of rapprochement tourism between China and Taiwan 
  • Material culture of post-conflict societies 
  • Cross-border mobilities in contemporary China 
  • Qualitative methods
Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov Student Paper Award (Best paper in the PhD category), Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Cultural Geography Specialty Group, 2012

Research Grant for Foreign Scholars in Chinese Studies, Centre for Chinese Studies, Taiwan, 2011

Durham Doctoral Fellowship, Durham University, UK (Full scholarship awarded under the University's fast-track initiative), 2009-2012

1st Prize, Graduate Student Paper Competition, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Recreation, Tourism & Sport Specialty Group, 2009

NUS Research (M.Soc.Sci) Scholarship, NUS, 2007-2009

Bachelor of Social Sciences (First Class Honours in Geography), NUS, 2007

Ooi Jin Bee Scholarship Award, Department of Geography, NUS, 2006

Dean's List (Top 5% of cohort), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, NUS, 2005-2006

Special Book Prize (Top Year 2 Student in Geography), NUS, 2005

Dean's List (Top 5% of cohort), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, NUS, 2004-2005

Dean's List (Top 5% of cohort), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, NUS, 2003-2004
Selected Publications

Zhang, J.J., Wong, P.P.Y. and Lai, P.C. (2018) ‘A geographic analysis of hosts’ irritation levels towards mainland Chinese day-trippers in a Hong Kong border town’, Tourism Management, 68, pp. 367-374.  

Zhang, J.J. (2018) ‘Urban cross-border mobilities: geopolitical encounters and bordering practices of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ in China’, in Mark Jayne (ed.) Chinese Urbanism: New Critical Perspectives, London: Routledge, in-press.

Zhang, J.J. (2017) 'Recuperative materialities: the Kinmen Tunnel Music Festival', in L. Bennett (ed.) In the Ruins of the Cold War Bunker: Affect, Materiality and Meaning Making, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 131-144.

Zhang, J.J. and Kwong, Y.M. (2017) ‘Reconceptualising host-guest relations at border towns’, Annals of Tourism Research, 66, pp. 196-199. DOI:

Zhang, J.J. (2017) ‘Rethinking ‘heritage’ in post-conflict tourism’, Annals of Tourism Research, 66, pp. 194-196. DOI:

Zhang, J.J. (2017) ‘Paying homage to the ‘Heavenly Mother’: the Mazu Pilgrimage and its implications on rapprochement between China and Taiwan’, Geoforum, 84, pp. 32-41. Epub ahead of print 6 June 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.05.012.

Zhang, J.J. (2017) ‘Research ethics and ethical research: some observations from the Global South’, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 41(1), pp. 147-154. Epub ahead of print 26 October 2016. DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2016.1241985.

Zhang, J.J. and Crang, M. (2016) ‘Making material memories: Kinmen’s bridging objects and fractured places between China and Taiwan’, Cultural Geographies, 23(3), pp. 421-439. Epub ahead of print 24 June 2015. DOI: 10.1177/1474474015591488.

Zhang, J.J. (2016) ‘Contesting territory – sovereignty, tourism and aesthetics: some reflections’, in S. Funamoto and H. Tsuruta (eds.) International Symposium in Fukuoka: Contesting Territory – Sovereignty, Tourism and Aesthetics, Fukuoka: Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, pp. i-iv.

Zhang, J.J. (2013) ‘Borders on the move: cross-strait tourists’ material moments on ‘the other side’ in the midst of rapprochement between China and Taiwan’, Geoforum, 48, pp. 94-101.

Zhang, J.J. (2013) ‘The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies’, by D. Wastl-Walter (ed.), reviewed in: Eurasia Border Review, 4(1), pp. 107-110.

Zhang, J.J. (2012) ‘The rise and fall of the bum boat empire at Clifford Pier’, in K.P. Loo (ed.) Emotional and Cultural Connections with Jinmen (in Chinese), Singapore, High Oak Publishing.

Zhang, J.J. (2010) ‘Of Kaoliang, Bullets & Knives: Local entrepreneurs and the battlefield tourism enterprise in Kinmen (Quemoy), Taiwan’, Tourism Geographies, 12(3), pp. 395-411. 

Zhang, J.J. (2010) ‘Brand(ing) Kinmen: A tourism perspective’, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 9(4), pp. 407-433.

Zhang, J.J. and Chiang, B.W. (2009) “‘Normandy’ or ‘Las Vegas’? Positioning ‘Kinmen’ in the post-war (re)construction era’”, in B.W. Chiang (ed.), 2008 International Symposium for Urban Planning, Quemoy (Kinmen), Kinmen: Kinmen County Government, pp. 189-230.

Professional Service

Committee Member: September 2016 - present
China Studies panel for selection of Common Core course proposals, HKU

Committee Member: April 2016 – present  
Department Teaching Committee, Department of Geography, HKU

Organiser and Chair: April 2016
Two research seminars led by Honours Dissertation students, Department of Geography, HKU

Organiser and Chair: April 2016
Departmental seminar by Associate Professor T.C. Chang from the National University of Singapore

Guest Lecturer: November 2015
Invited to give a lecture on Border Studies in Asia to postgraduate students of the Comparative Studies on Politics in Asia course at Kyushu University, Japan

Coordinator and Internal Examiner: January 2015 – present
Common Core Course CCGL9021, HKU

Department Personal Data Protection Coordinator: December 2014 – present
Department of Geography, HKU

Participant: December 2014 – present
Staff-Student Consultative Committee meeting, Department of Geography, HKU

Department Information Officer: November 2014 – present
Department of Geography, HKU

Member: August 2014 – present
Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences, HKU

Overseas Fieldtrip Leader: May 2014
Led a group of geography majors on their overseas fieldtrip to Taipei organised by the NUS Geographical Society

Guest Lecturer: May 2014
Invited to give a lecture on Singapore’s Heritage Landscape at the Department of Geography (NUS) to geography students from the National Taiwan Normal University

Committee Member: August 2013 – June 2014
Undergraduate Studies Committee, Department of Geography, NUS

Guest Lecturer: March 2013
Invited to give a lecture on ‘Rapprochement between China and Taiwan’ to Tourism postgraduates at the University of Sunderland, UK

Organiser and Chair: February 2012
2 paper sessions (‘Border Matters!’) at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, New York, USA

Guest Speaker: November 2011
Invited to share experiences as a PhD student at the ‘Geographical Imaginations Workshop’ with postgraduates from Newcastle and Durham Universities, UK

Guest Speaker: May 2011 
Invited to share conceptual and fieldwork aspects of PhD research with postgraduates at the Faculty of Social Sciences, National Quemoy University, Kinmen, Taiwan

Guest Lecturer: April 2011
Invited to give a lecture on ‘Overseas Chinese Diaspora Identities’ to History undergraduates at Xiamen University, China

Guest Speaker: November 2010
Durham University Library Staff Development Event: Internationalisation; Presentation title: ‘The University Library as a Place of Encounters: My Experience’

Committee Member: November 2008
Departmental Ethical Review Committee, Department of Geography, NUS; Assessed undergraduates’ Ethical Clearance Checklists to make sure that proposed research projects conform to ethics guidelines

Book Proposal Reviewer, Routledge
Article Referee for the following journals:
Annals of Tourism Research
Asian Geographer
Citizenship Studies
Cultural Geographies
Environment and Planning A
Journal of Geography in Higher Education
Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Social & Cultural Geography
The Scientific Journal of Anthropology
Tourism Geographies