Victor T. King has been teaching and undertaking research in the sociology and anthropology of Southeast Asia since the early 1970s when he completed his Master's degree with distinction at the School of Oriental and African Studies in anthropology, geography and Indonesian Studies, and then undertook field research in Kalimantan, Indonesia for his doctoral degree in social anthropology at the University of Hull. Most of his career was spent in the Centre for South-East Asian Studies and the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Hull. He was appointed to a Senior Lectureship there in 1988 and immediately thereafter to the re-established Chair in Southeast Asian Studies (from 1988 to 2005), following the report by Sir Peter Parker on Asian and African Languages and Area Studies.
At various times he served as Director of the Centre for South-East Asian Studies, Dean of the School of Social and Political Sciences, Director of the University’s Graduate School and Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
He joined Leeds University in 2005 and became Executive Director of the White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC) in 2006 under the ESRC/AHRC/HEFCE Language-based Area Studies programme (LBAS). WREAC brought together over 50 researchers, 20 honorary research associates and professors and over 20 research students in Asian Studies from the School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield) and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures/East Asian Studies (Leeds) which had
a combined budget of £6million over five years. Prior to his retirement Victor King secured a further grant of £300k from the AHRC for the continuation of the WREAC programme into 2013. Further grants from the AHRC have ensured the future funding of the Centre to 2016.
From August 2010 he took early retirement from the University as Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, but continued on a part-time basis as Executive Director of WREAC for a further two years. He was appointed as an Eminent Visiting Professor to the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam in August 2012 to assist in the development of a programme of advanced research and training there along with Professor Hans-Dieter Evers. He has recently been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Brunei and currently Adjunct Professor at Chiang Mai University, Thailand, and is also a Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.