Dr Loretta Ieng Tak Lou

Dr Loretta Lou is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA), University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis is an ethnographic study of "green living" and its implications for self-understanding, social relations, ethics, and political mobilization in post-handover Hong Kong. Two questions underpinned her research on the green living movement. First, what makes people want to "go green"? What motivates "ordinary citizens" to take part in a social movement? Second, while "responsibilization" has an undeniable influence on why people want to better themselves, what other theoretical conceptualizations might the practice of "self-cultivation"/"self-care" afford us in the age of neoliberalism? 

Along these lines, Loretta is developing three research projects at the moment: 1) The notion of self-cultivation (xiushen) in China and the radical politics of self-care and self-love in contemporary social movements; 2)  How Chinese environmentalists construe biotechnology and other nature-culture "hybrids" (Latour 1991, 1999); 3) Disenchantment and re-enchantment in modern China.

Her latest publications can be found here.

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