Lok Siu

Research Expertise and Interest

diaspora, transnational migration, un/belonging and citizenship, racial/ethnic/gender formation, food, ethnography, Chinese diaspora, hemispheric Asian American studies

Research Description

Lok Siu is a cultural anthropologist and Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Her areas of expertise include Asian diasporas in the Americas, Chinese diaspora, un/belonging and citizenship, racial/ethnic/gender formation, food, and ethnography. Her books, Memories of a Future Home: Diasporic Citizenship of Chinese in Panama and Asian Diasporas: New Formations, New Conceptions (co-edited with Rhacel Parreñas), received the Social Science Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2007 and 2009. Other books include Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture and Chinese Diaspora: Its Development in Global Perspective. Her new book, Worlding Asian Latinx: Cultural Intimacies in Food, Art, and Politics is forthcoming. She is currently working on a new project tentatively titled, Chifas: How Chinese Food Became Peru's National Treasure.

Recently, she led a team of undergraduate students to conduct archival and ethnographic research to produce the website, "The Radical History of San Francisco Chinatown." As Chair of the Asian American Research Center, she helped launch several campus-community collaborative projects, including the Pipeline for AANHPI Community Health, the CAA Oral Histories Project, and the project on Community Archival Resilience and  Engagement: Voices of Asian American Elders in the Post-COVID San Francisco bay Area. In 2022, She also convened the 30th Anniversary Conference of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas, a multi-sited conference involving UCB, UCLA, and Jinan University that took place in San Francisco, CA; Guangdong, China; and via Virtual Webinars.

She has lectured at universities throughout the US and Europe; at museums such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of Food and Drinks in NYC, the Chinese American Museum in LA, and the California African American Museum; and at institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. She has appeared in a range of news media, including CBS News, New York Times, NBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, and WNYC.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
June 14, 2021
Lok Siu and Jamie Noguchi
In this comic book-style story, UC Berkeley associate professor of anthropology Lok Siu and cartoonist Jamie Noguchi take a graphic look at wealth and the history of Asian Americans in the United State. Gaps in income, educational achievement and access to health care become clearer as each group constituting Asian American is broken down. These gaps are obscured when Asian Americans are lumped together.
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