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Chia-Sui Hsu

Admitted to PhD Programme: 2011-08-29

  • Course convener on SGEA22:4


My journey as a PhD candidate started in September, 2011 and I plan to finish the studies by the end of 2015.  Before that, I have an engineering degree in Bioenvironmental System Engineering (2008) from National Taiwan University (NTU) and a MS in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science, LUMES (2011) from Lund University.

In the beginning, my research focuses on conceptions of resilience and vulnerabilities in natural disaster coping strategies. Later, this research interest has gradually shifted to investigations of factors contributing to social vulnerabilities. With this turn, I become interested in how rural changes are related to intensive urban-rural migration, land use policies, and sustainable agriculture. My main research area is located in Eastern Taiwan, an old periphery area that has been increasingly seen as the last paradise for alternative lifestyles. In addition to research work, I am responsible for a part of SGEA 22 course since September, 2013.

On-going research

In-migration to rural areas invites numerous geographical imaginations as well as sparks debates of roles of rural space. For this, I am exploring diverse ex-urbanite newcomers and their impacts on rural communities in Eastern Taiwan. Specific to the context of Eastern Taiwan, two aspects are especially important. One is urbanization of the countryside introduced through farmland policies, housing projects and improvement of transportations. Rural changes of such are not only similar to processes of rural gentrification but also create tensions between in-migrants and old residents.

The other one is the emergence of back-to-the-landers who see the countryside as the last place for autonomous way of living. New narratives of back-to-the-landers, such as Half Farmer and Half X from Japan, continue to influence ex-urbanites’ decision-making and their everyday life in the countryside. With empirical materials from fieldwork, I address the role of agrarian landscape in processes of rural gentrification that has been relatively neglected. I also aim to add up a case study of contemporary back-to-the-landers in the context of East Asia countries.


Human Ecology
E-mail: chia-sui [dot] hsu [at] keg [dot] lu [dot] se

Doctoral student

Department of Human Geography



The Department of Human Geography
and the Human Ecology Division

Address: Sölvegatan 10,
223 62 Lund
Phone: 046-222 17 59

Faculty of Social Sciences