Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Ian Rowen


Assistant Professor
Sociology
School of Social Sciences
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Email: IAN@NTU.EDU.SG
Phone: (+65)69042198
Office: HSS-04-92

Education
  • PhD University of Colorado 2016
  • MA University of Colorado 2012
  • BA University of California 2001
Biography
Ian Rowen is Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and holds courtesy appointments in the School of Art, Design, and Media, and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. His work on culture, politics, and place-making has appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Annals of Tourism Research, Asian Anthropology, International Journal of Transitional Justice, The New York Times, the BBC Chinese, The Guardian and elsewhere. He has delivered invited talks at institutions including Stanford University, Harvard University, University of California Berkeley, SOAS University of London, and NYU Shanghai. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Fudan University (China) and Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany) and a postdoctoral fellow at Academia Sinica (Taiwan). His research has been supported with a Fulbright Fellowship and multiple US National Science Foundation grants.

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese and proficient in Bahasa Indonesia, he served as lead translator of “Tibetan Environmentalists in China: The King of Dzi,” a book written by journalist and Peking University and UC Berkeley fellow Liu Jianqiang that explores the interface of religion, ecology, and cultural politics in Tibet (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). Ian’s previous translations credits include such award-winning films as ‘Splendid Float’ and ‘Spider Lilies’, directed by Zero Chou.

Much of his research has focused on the cultural and political geography of both travel and protest between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. Treating tourism as a political technology, he pays particular attention to performances of state territory and ethno-national membership. This project stems from more than 10 years of life/work experience in the region.

Before earning his PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2016, Ian worked as a translator, journalist, musician, tour guide, hotelier and entrepreneur. He received a B.A. with honors in a double major of Mathematics and East Asian Studies (Chinese), as well as the JWT Youngs Mathematics Prize from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2001, for his senior seminar paper entitled, ‘A Tour of the Hyperreals: An Introduction to Non-standard Analysis’.
Research Interests
Cultural and political geography, social movements, tourism, transitional justice, innovation, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia.
Current Projects
  • Innovation, Ideology, And Translingual Practice: Exploring Governmental, Industrial, And Academic Networks In Greater China, Singapore And The US
Selected Publications
  • Ian Rowen.(2018). Tourism as a territorial strategy in the South China Sea. Enterprises, Localities, People, and Policy in the South China Sea: Beneath the SurfacePalgrave Macmillan.
  • Ian Rowen, Jamie Rowen. (2017). Taiwan’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: The geopolitics of transitional justice in a contested state. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 11(1), 92-112.
  • Ian Rowen. (2016). The geopolitics of tourism: Mobilities, territory and protest in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 106(2), 385-393.
  • Ian Rowen. (2015). Inside Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement: Twenty-Four Days in a Student-Occupied Parliament, and the Future of the Region. Journal of Asian Studies, 74(1), 5-21.
  • Ian Rowen. (2014). Tourism as a territorial strategy: The case of China and Taiwan. Annals of Tourism Research, 46, 62-75.

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