I am a cultural geographer interested in the intensities and energetics of ordinary life in times of economic change. My research explores the micropolitics of economic transitions through attention to how affected workers and communities are navigating durations of loss and adjustment, with a focus on corporeal forms of negativity. My research combines theories of affect, embodiment and mobility, diverse forms of storytelling, and fieldwork undertaken in Australia and China.

I joined the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore as Assistant Professor in Summer 2022. I completed my PhD in the School of Geography, The University of Melbourne in 2021, after a first year spent in the School of Sociology, Australian National University. My PhD investigated the experiences of workers affected by two coal mine closures in eastern Australia and central China, exploring the embodied transitions for workers and their families after the disruptive shocks of workplace closure. Prior to that, I undertook research on experiences of return migration for rural migrant workers in China.

Alongside teaching and research, I’m interested in the intersection of social science, creative practice and community engagement. I am a member of the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation, a collective of artists and writers experimenting with adaptive cultural change, and co-organise the IAG Film Shorts with Lisa Palmer and Jane Dyson. I am currently also Treasurer of the RGS-IBG Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia to migrant parents from Guangzhou, China. Geography has always been my way of making sense of this inherited dislocation—of the cascading effects of desires once had, and decisions made long ago, to depart one’s homelands in search of other worlds. In my teaching, I hope to similarly inspire students to see the value of geographical knowledges within their own pursuits of sense-making and world-building.

If you’d like to get in touch, do drop me a line at vickiez@nus.edu.sg.


Image: Screenshot from a video recorded onsite at Bruce and Serana Hunt-Hughes’ property in Violet Town, Victoria, for a weaving grass planting day with 2018–2019 School of Geography Artist in Residence Museum Incognita.