FASS Staff Profile

LAU TING HUI
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY

Appointment:
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Office:
AS1 #02-20
Email:
lau.th@nus.edu.sg
Tel:
Fax:
Homepage:
https://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/lau.th/

Lau Ting Hui is a sociocultural anthropologist. She received her BA in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge in 2009 with a specialisation in customary land tenure and Indigenous land rights. She completed her PhD at Cornell University in August 2020. Lau hails from a small timber town in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Prior to pursuing postgraduate studies, she worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.


  • AN3208 Critiquing Development 
  • SC4202 Reading Ethnography 
  • YSS 4279 Body and Society 
  • YSS3202 Ethnography
  • YSC3253 Anthropology of Development
  • YSS4261 Psychological Anthropology
  • YCC1121 Comparative Social Inquiry
  • YSS4236 Medical Anthropology 

Lau’s work focuses on cultural loss and endurance among Indigenous communities. Her book in progress — Wounds of Progress: Colonialism, Loss, and Endurance in Southwestern China — builds on over a decade of engagement with Indigenous Lisu subsistence farmers in the Nu River Valley on the China-Myanmar border. Investigating the Lisu’s struggle against the deracinating effects of Chinese development, Lau examines the everyday ways Lisu continues to persist, endure, and regenerate in this context of cultural loss. She reveals how intimate acts of caring, drinking alcohol, or storytelling can serve as remembrances. Through these practices, Lisu holds on to their ways of life, builds community, and refuses erasure. Building on her first book project, Lau’s continuing research agenda investigates the anthropology of accidents and natural disasters, Lisu diaspora, and Indigenous survivance in the context of Asian colonialisms.


  • Indigeneity
  • Mental health
  • Anthropology of the body
  • Borderlands
  • China and Southeast Asia

ARTICLES IN JOURNAL

  • 2023. "Conjuring Spirits: Melancholic Play and Refusal among Alcohol-drinking Lisu Men on the China-Myanmar Border," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
  • 2023. "The Afterlife of 'Doing Medicine': Birth Planning, Chronic Illness, and Regeneration among the Lisu on the China-Myanmar Border," Medical Anthropology Quarterly


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