Lecturer
UM Macao Fellow in Social Sciences

Dr. Loretta Lou is an anthropologist specialised in the study of environment, health, gender, and activism in East Asia and the United Kingdom. After she received her D.Phil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2017, she worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick before joining the University of Macau as a Lecturer & Macao Fellow in Social Sciences. She simultaneously holds the position of Visiting Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and 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 interest in environmentalism in East Asia, her postdoctoral research at Warwick focused on the ways Chinese people make sense of toxic pollution, their everyday experiences of injustice, and how they cope with contrived ignorance. Underpinning all of these projects are questions revolve around the interplay between freedom and responsibility, the politics of complicity and victimhood, and the production of knowledge and ignorance.

  • 2017, PhD in Anthropology, University of Oxford
  • 2008, MSc (by Research) in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh
  • 2006, B.A., University of Washington, Seattle
  • Environmental anthropology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Anthropology of ethics and morality
  • Social movements studies
  • China (especially Hong Kong and Macau), the United Kingdom
  1. 2021, “Casino capitalism in the era of COVID-19: Examining Macau’s pandemic response”, in Special Issue “COVID-19 and Chinese Societies—Challenges, Impacts and Responses”, guest edited by Tai-lok Lui. Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, volume 17(2), pp.69-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/STICS-09-2020-0025
  2. 2019, “The Struggle for Sustainable Waste Management in Hong Kong: 1950s–2010s,” Worldwide Waste: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(1): 11, 1–12. [co-authored with Fabian, N] http://doi.org/10.5334/wwwj.40
  3. 2019, “Freedom as ethical practices: On the possibility of freedom through freeganism and freecycling in Hong Kong,” Asian Anthropology, volume 18, issue 4, pp.249-265. https://doi.org/10.1080/1683478X.2019.1633728
  4. 2018, “In the Absence of a Peasantry, What, Then, is a Hong Kong Farmer?” in Gilded Age: Made in China Yearbook 2017, edited by Ivan Franceschini, Nicholas Loubere. pp.174-177. Canberra: ANU Press. http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n4231/pdf/article31.pdf
  5. 2017, “The material culture of green living in Hong Kong,” in Anthropology Now. April: Volume 9 (1), pp.70-79. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19428200.2017.1291055