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Ting Hui Lau is a Ph.D. candidate in sociocultural anthropology. Her research interests include trauma and social change, death and dreaming, mobility and identity, history and memory, and China and Southeast Asia. She is currently conducting her dissertation fieldwork in Southwest China with support from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
Lau’s Ph.D. research, which is supervised by Professor Magnus Fiskesjӧ, examines the life world of the Lisu, an ethnic and religious minority on the China–Burma border. Lau’s research brings her from remote mountain villages to urban factories and migrant ghettoes. While in the Lisu homeland, she lives full time in Lisu villages and participates in everyday activities, including farming and rearing livestock. Lau also travels with her Lisu friends on their search for education and temporary work in the cities. Sharing in these diverse activities, she examines how Lisu dreams, stories, humor, and religion form a cultural reserve for dealing with these turbulent times of breakneck development. Her research is relevant to understanding how small-scale agrarian communities grapple with state power and social change in China, Southeast Asia, and beyond.
Medical and psychological anthropology, transnational ethnic groups, personhood and social change, China and Southeast Asia