Furman University Oral Histories
Kate Kaup Interview

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Kate Kaup Interview


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.


In this interview, Dr. Kate Kaup explains the formation of Furman's Asian Studies Department and many of the contributions of these early faculty members, which included developing new curricular and co-curricular initiatives, leading study away opportunities in Asia, facilitating international exchange programs, and working to recruit international students. Kaup also provides an important perspective of the Asian and Asian American student experience on campus.

This oral history is part of the Untold Journeys project.

Scholarship Type

Student Scholarship

Publication Date


City and State

Greenville, SC

Instructor(s) or Advisor(s)

Kylie Fisher

Additional Affiliated Department, Center or Institute

Asian Studies


Asian History | History


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Kate Kaup Interview