The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology are pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Julia Chuang to the faculty. She is a qualitative researcher with research interests in development, agrarian politics, and migration. Her work has utilized ethnographic and interview-based methods, and recently, she has also begun to work with computational methods as well.
Professor Chuang was initially hired during the 2019–20 academic year, and our community is pleased that she will join us as we resume in-person classes in the fall semester.
Professor Chuang completed her postdoctoral training at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. She received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University. She is particularly excited to be returning to Maryland, where she once lived while working at the National Security Agency, before her academic career.
"Sociology at UMD is nationally top-ranked, and I'm looking forward to joining such a powerhouse group of researchers," Professor Chuang said. "Also, my last position was at a smaller, more liberal arts-focused institution and UMD has a very different feel, as a huge research university with so many synergistic possibilities across departments."
Professor Chuang's book, “Beneath the China Boom: Labor, Citizenship, and the Making of a Rural Land Market” (University of California Press, 2020) examines flows of capital and labor between rural and urban China. The work was recently honored with the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Labor and Labor Movement’s Distinguished Scholarly Monograph Award for 2021. It also received honorable mentions in the categories of Best Book from the ASA Sociology of Development Section and Transnational Asia Book Award from the ASA Asia and Asian America Section.
"I know I can speak for all of my student and faculty colleagues in the department in expressing our excitement about Dr. Chuang joining our community," said Professor Jeff Lucas, chair of the department. "The numerous accolades she has received for her recent book speak to the quality of her research, and we look forward to how having her in the department will enhance our research and training in migration, development, qualitative methods, and other areas."
Her new project examines capital migration from Asia to the West, in the form of immigrant investors who seek destinations where they can “park” capital assets in exchange for long-term returns or political citizenship.
Professor Chuang’s other pieces include works published in Politics & Society, Gender & Society, Journal of Peasant Studies, and The China Quarterly.