Ting Hui Lau
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCornell U.
Grant numberGr. 9293
Approve DateApril 19, 2016
Project TitleLau, Ting H., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Millenarian Modernities: Demon Possession on the Margins of China,' supervised by Dr. Magnus Fiskesjo
TING H. LAU, then a graduate student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on “Millenarian Modernities: Demon Possession on the Margins of China,” supervised by Dr. Magnus Fiskesjo. This dissertation research examines the life world of the Lisu, an ethnic and religious minority on the China–Myanmar border. The research brings the grantee from remote mountain villages to urban factories and migrant ghettoes. While in the Lisu homeland, the grantee lives full time in Lisu villages and participates in the Lisu’s everyday activities, including farming and rearing livestock. The research also travels with Lisu friends on their search for education and temporary work in the cities. When the grantee is with Lisu informants in the cities, the grantee looks for factory work with them and participates in their leisure and religious activities. Sharing in these diverse parts of the Lisu lifeworld, the project examines how Lisu dreams, stories, humor, and religion form a cultural reserve for dealing with these turbulent times of breakneck development. This research is relevant to understanding how small-scale agrarian communities grapple with state power and social change in China, Southeast Asia, and beyond.