Dr Loretta I.T. Lou

Loretta Lou

Postdoctoral Associate

DPhil (Oxon.)
MSc by Research (Edinburgh)
B.A. (UW Seattle)

Dr Loretta Lou is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA) at the University of Oxford and a Research Fellow of the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Loretta’s research interests lie in the areas of the environment, health, science & technology studies (STS), social movements and social changes in Greater China, the U.K., and the U.S. After she received her DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford, she went on to work as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS) for the Forum on Health, Environment and Development (FORHEAD) before joining a 5-year ERC funded project titled Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry at the University of Warwick.

Loretta’s doctoral research was an ethnographic study of a new way of living called ‘green living’ in Hong Kong. She was interested in the implications of green living for self-nature relationship, social dynamics, ethics, political mobilizations, and the ways these domains are being shaped by Hong Kong’s social and political climate since its handover from British to Chinese sovereignty. Building on her previous research on environmental subjectivity, in her postdoc Loretta will conduct mixed-method studies on toxicity, petrochemicals, and environmental health in China. She is particularly interested in the public’s aversion to Paraxylene and their obliviousness of other scientifically proven endocrine disruptors.

Prior to her academic career, Loretta worked as a public health researcher for the NHS, focusing on women’s experience of antenatal care in Scotland. She retains a strong interest in applied (medical and environmental) anthropology and is now preparing a major study on gynaecological health movements, technologies, and their implication for women’s wellbeing in the UK and the US.

She can be reached at iengtak.lou@anthro.ox.ac.uk

Selected publications

2017. ‘The material culture of green living in Hong Kong’, in Anthropology Now. April: Volume 9 (1), pp.70-79.

2017. Review of ‘Anthropology of China: China as Ethnographic and Theoretical Critique’ (2016), by Charlotte Bruckermann and Stephan Feuchtwang, in LSE Review of Books

2016. ‘Beyond Miracles: How traditional Chinese medicine establishes professional legitimacy in post-colonial Macau’, in Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, Anthropology

2015. Review of ‘Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World’, edited by Melissa L. Caldwell, Jakob Klein, and Yuson Jung (2014), in Allegra: Anthropology, Law, Art & World

2014. Review of ‘Green Politics in China: Environmental Governance and State–Society Relations’, by Joy Zhang and Michael Barr (2014), in The China Journal. Issue (72), pp.176-178.

2014. Hong Kong’s vegan guru. China Dialogue. 


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