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Dr Yoke-Sum Wong

Formerly at Lancaster University

Yoke-Sum Wong

PhD supervision

Theory, Material Culture, Cultural Studies, Historical Sociology, Design, Art and Architecture, Mobilities

Current Teaching

Sociology 200 Course Convenor and Lecturer (Michaelmas & Lent)

Research Interests

I struggle with my work and for a definition. Always the gaps, always the shadows, always the passing idea - and the scattered thoughts like rotting leaves in puddle-water. As Clifford Geertz writes, there is no synoptic picture here.

How the message unfolds is a matter of interpretation.

I work with history (Imperialism and Postcolonialism), historiography and material culture, exploring the ambiguities of the relationships of colonial subjects, their exchanges, their worlds and their material landscapes. My work is inter-disciplinary -- informed by post-structuralism, post-colonialism and various schools of historiography, and cultural theories. Basically, I read anything that interests me and I get my best ideas from outside the discipline. I like the mess of details, and engaging with the structure of messiness. Home and abroad are singular and yet multiple spaces. I am fascinated with the flows of those worlds and how things, food, peoples and ideas moved around, asking for example, why a late 19th century Japanese print looks suspiciously like a Whistler painting? How do people know a landscape based on their own cultural maps? Why do 19th century homes in tropical places resemble Palladian villas? Why are there always three flying ducks on domestic interiors around the world? And how did they get there?

Connected to my work on imperial histories and their mobile cultures, is my interest in art and design, particularly modernism. Buildings and objects are richly textured narratives, built on a pointillist canvas of ideas, influences and experiences - too impossible to tell, too numerous to unfold. Therein lies, I believe, the sociological imagination - quirky and surreal and very, very wonderful to revel in.


Part2 Director, Sociology Department

Managing and Responsible Editor, Journal of Historical Sociology (quarterly, Wiley-Blackwell), since year 1999

Course Consultant, Center for Social Studies, Warsaw, Poland.


Managing Editor of The Journal of Historical Sociology The Journal of Historical Sociology (JHS) is an international interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, published quarterly by Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford since 1988 with over 2600 Institutional/Consortial (electronic and non-electronic) subscriptions.


Intermedia Research, Dept. of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Additional Information


PhD Supervision:

Simone Britto (with Dr. Bulent Diken) - Completed (with minor revisions) October 2007

Thesis title: Negative Morality Prolegomena to any Moral Thinking after Auschwitz

Sergio Fava (with Professor John Law)http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/sociology/prospective/phd/students/fava.htm

Thesis Working Title: Designing Nightmares: Art and Science in Environmental Apocalypticism

Karolina Kazimierczak (with Professor Lucy Suchman) - Completed with no revisions, March 2009

Thesis Working Title: Linguistic Fantasies and Fantastic Worlds: On the Creative Use of Fictional Languages in the Non-fictional World.

Gail Crowther (with Professor Lynne Pearce)

Thesis Working Title: The Use of Secular Icons in the Construction of Personal Identity

Craig Hammond (with Dr. Graeme Gilloch)

Thesis Working Title: Ernst Bloch, Film & Fairy Tale Narrative: Journeys 'Towards-Home'.

Jack Nye (with Dr. Graeme Gilloch)

Thesis Working Title: Leo Lowenthal and the Sociology of Literature

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