Kimberly Cheng is a PhD candidate in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at New York University. She earned her BA in History and Diaspora Studies from Cornell University and her MA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education before coming to NYU. As a graduate student in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at NYU, Cheng has studied both modern Jewish history and modern Chinese history, with a focus on relating the Jewish and Chinese experiences of the Holocaust to each other. She has worked as a documentary archival assistant and as a freelance writer and has studied abroad extensively during her education, with stints at universities including Freie Universität, Berlin and National Taiwan University, Taipei.
During her time at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Cheng conducted dissertation research with Visual History Archive testimonies of former Jewish refugees from Shanghai in order to paint a picture of the relationships between Jewish refugees and their Chinese neighbors in postwar Shanghai. She hopes that her research will help reconfigure Holocaust geography by “shed[ding] light on the consolidation of these refugees’ sense of personal identity, the distinct experiences of refugee children and adolescents with Chinese people, postwar Sino-Jewish relations, and the construction of foreignness and race more broadly in Shanghai.”