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Kathryn Lum

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Languages and International Studies


Dr Lum teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Global Studies, including Foundations of Global Studies, Researching Global Cultures, Global Citizenship and Gender and Nation. Dr Lum is an anthropologist whose regional area of expertise is South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Her research interests focus on gender and caste in India, Dalit movements and Indian migration to Europe.

Career overview

Before arriving at NTU, Dr Lum was the Scientific Coordinator of an EU-funded research project (2011-15) on Indian migration to the EU, based at the Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She has taught modules in Intercultural Communication, the Cultural History of Italy, and the History of Immigration in Europe and the US to undergraduates in Florence and Siena, and Gender and Migration to postgraduates.

Research areas

Dr Lum's PhD thesis (European University Institute, Florence), analysed the contemporary politics of caste identity, from the perspective of those at the bottom of the caste system, in the Punjab and in a first-generation migrant context in Catalonia, Spain, to explore the impact of migration on caste identification and the strategies that young Dalits use to manage caste stigma in urban and diasporic settings.

Dr Lum has studied the integration of first and 1.5 generation immigrants in Southern Europe, looking at how Punjabis have transformed Italy's dairy sector, the religious assertion of Dalits in Spain, and the masculinities of low-caste youth in the Spanish diaspora. She has also analysed India and China’s diaspora engagement strategies and their introduction of increasingly flexible forms of citizenship.

Dr Lum is currently working on a research project comparing the daily social experiences of 'quota' or affirmative action students in India and Brazil.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

  • Dr Lum carries out consultancy work for the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia on the integration of religious minorities from India. She was commissioned to write a chapter aimed at Spanish health care professionals on how to treat patients from the Sikh faith and familiarise themselves with cross-cultural approaches to health and healing (forthcoming).
  • Dr Lum was an External Reviewer for the special issue of the Journal of Social Sciences (Caderno CRH) entitled Brasil in South America: Cooperation, Democracy and Development (O Brasil na América do Sul: cooperação, democracia e desenvolvimento), published by the Universidade Federale da Bahia (UFBA).
  • Visiting Scholar, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (May 2009- May 2011).
  • Languages (spoken and written fluency): Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being undertaken with the collaboration of:

  • Prof. João Feres Júnior, Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos – IESP
    Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – UERJ (Brazilian collaborator on CONFAP-UK Academies grant).
  • Prof. Rupa Chanda, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), principal collaborator on the Carim India project (2011-2014)


  • Casted Masculinities in the Punjabi Diaspora. Lum K, South Asian Diaspora, 2016, 8 (2) (forthcoming).
  • Labor Migration from India to Italy: Debunking the Myth of the Undesirable Low-Skilled Migrant in the EU. Lum K in (eds) A Wiesbrock and DA Arcarazo, Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics, 2015, Santa Barbara, Praeger Press, 219-250
  • Operationalising the Highly-Skilled Diasporic Transnational Family: India and China’s Transnational Governance Strategies. Lum K, Diaspora Studies, 2014, 8 (1), 51-65
  • Manufacturing Self-Respect: Stigma, Pride and Cultural Juggling among Dalit Youth in Spain. Lum K in (eds) E Toguslu, J Leman and I Sezgin, New Multicultural Identities in Europe: Religion and Ethnicity in Secular Societies, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 2014, 95-117
  • The Diaspora Target: Ethnic Dividend as National Development Strategy in China. Lum K in (ed) K Axel, Fachkräftemigration aus Asien ach Deutschland und Europa - Migration of skilled labour from Asia to Germany and Europe, Beiträge zu Migration und Integration, Band 5, 2014, Nürnberg: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, 188-204
  • Indian Diversities in Italy: A Case Study. Lum K, Florence: RCAS, European University Institute, 2012 Click here.
  • Caste, Religion, Community Assertion: A Case Study of the Ravidassias in Spain. Lum K in (eds) KA Jacobson and K Myrvold, Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identities, and Representations, 2011, Farnham, Ashgate, 179 – 200
  • The Ravidassia Community and Identity(ies) in Catalonia, Spain. Lum K, Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory, 2010, 6 (1) 31-49

See all of Kathryn Lum's publications...

Press expertise

Dr Lum can comment on:

  • migration policy - particularly in Southern Europe
  • Indian society and culture
  • gender in India
  • caste in India
  • Dalit rights
  • Indian diaspora
  • diaspora policy.