Cheuk Him Ryan Sun is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. I am supervised by Prof. Leo Shin and Prof. Richard Menkis. My transnational project expands the geography of Jewish exile outside Europe and beyond Shanghai, and onto the British colonies of Hong Kong and Singapore.
I adopt a refugee-centered approach that highlights the agency and mobilities of Austrian and German-Jewish refugees in formulating their escape plans, while slowly becoming entangled with the wartime policies of British colonial administrations, and their eventual internment and expulsions from both colonies. I consider how the distinct experiences of Jewish refugees in Hong Kong and Singapore have been ignored or subsumed within the more recognized narratives of Shanghai refuge and the radical possibilities of excavating and locating their continuities in the physical and mental landscapes of these two (post)colonial cities.
I am particularly interested in Jewish refugees’ ship-bound experiences, especially how transiting colonial port-cities and encountering local inhabitants informed their understanding of ‘the Orient’, as well as how these ship-moments disrupt the standard narratives of the Holocaust and survivor testimonies.