Katherine Palmer Kaup

James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs, Furman University

Dr. Katherine “Kate” Palmer Kaup’s (白荷婷) research focuses on ethnic minorities, rule of law, and human rights developments in China. In her most recent publication “Controlling Law: Legal Developments in China’s Southwest Minority Regions,” in The China Quarterly she examines how conflicts between customary minority law and state law are resolved. She is the author of Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China, several articles and chapters on ethnic minorities, and editor and contributor to the textbook Understanding Contemporary Asia (2nd edition 2021). She is a National Committee on United States China Relations (NCUSCR) Public Intellectual Fellow and serves on the NCUSCR Board of Directors. Kaup has served as special adviser for Minority Nationalities Affairs at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Chair of Furman’s Asian Studies Department and of the Furman Faculty, Director of the Riley Institute’s China Programs, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Yunnan Nationalities University, Visiting Scholar at the Guangxi Ethnic Affairs Commission, and PI/Program Director for several federally-funded Chinese language programs and for the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. She regularly leads groups to China, including student/faculty/alumni/government groups.


  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Yunnan Nationalities University 2012-13
  • James B. Duke Chair of Asian Studies and Political Science, lifetime appointment awarded 2010
  • Public Intellectuals Fellow: National Committee on United States-China Relations, 2008-2011
  • Gordon White Award: China Quarterly, 2002.

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