Loretta LOU

Loretta LOU

Lecturer & UM Macao Fellow in Social Sciences





2017                DPhil, University of Oxford

2008                MSc by Research, University of Edinburgh

2006                B.A., University of Washington (Seattle)


  • Environment
  • Health
  • Ethics
  • Social movement
  • Responsibility
  • Victimhood
  • Technologies of the self
  • China
  • Hong Kong

Loretta Lou is an anthropologist with research interests in environment, well-being, social movements, morality, and ethics. Geographically she focuses on Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. After she received her DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford, she worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick before joining the University of Macau as a Lecturer of Sociology & Macao Fellow in Social Sciences. 

Dr. Lou’s doctoral project 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-understanding, social relations, everyday ethics, social movements, and the ways these domains were being shaped by Hong Kong’s social and political climate since the handover in 1997. Building on her previous research on environmentalism in Asia, her postdoctoral research at Warwick focused on the ways Chinese people make sense of toxic pollution, their everyday experiences of (in)justice, and their psychological coping mechanisms. More broadly, her research in China and Hong Kong have led her to explore notions of responsibility and the politics of complicity and victimhood in contemporary China.

Dr. Lou is currently on research leave at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).



Journal articles and book chapters

(Under contract) ‘From Hygienic Modernity to Green Modernity? Two Modes of Modern Living in Contemporary Hong Kong’, in Modern Living in Asia 1945-1990, edited by Yunah Lee and Megha Rajguru, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

2017 'In the Absence of a Peasantry, What, Then, Is a Hong Kong Farmer?', in Made in China: A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, volume 2, issue 4, pp.56-59.

2017 'The Material Culture of Green Living in Hong Kong’, in Anthropology Now. April: Volume 9 (1), pp.70-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/19428200.2017.1291055

2016 'Beyond Miracles: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Establishes Professional Legitimacy in Post-colonial Macau', in Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, Anthropology.

Book reviews

2018 Review of 'Transforming Patriarchy: Chinese Families in the Twenty-First Century' (2016), edited by Gonçalo Santos and Stevan Harrell, in The China Quarterly, volume 233, pp.258-260.

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

2015 Review of ‘Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World’ (2014), edited by Melissa L. Caldwell, Jakob Klein, and Yuson Jung, in Allegra: Anthropology, Law, Art & World, April 1.

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

Public writing

2018 ‘Village Besieged’: An Elegy for Victims and Protest Against Taiwan’s Petrochemical Pollution, in Toxic News (edition 13), 1 November.

2018 “The (In)visibility of Fireworks Pollution”, in Toxic News (edition. 9), 1 February.

2014 “Hong Kong’s Vegan Guru”, in China Dialogue, 16 April.