Huwy-min (Lucia) Liu

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Dr. Huwy-min (Lucia) Liu

Huwy-min Lucia LiuMatriculated September 2007; defended dissertation 8/28/2014

Huwy-min (Lucia) Liu’s dissertation explores, both historically and ethnographically, changing modes of governance and subject formation in China through an in depth study of the Shanghai funeral industry in the 20th and 21st centuries. Liu’s research contributes to our understanding of the emergence of contemporary funeral rituals in urban China, the vicissitudes of state campaigns to promote cremation and other funeral reform projects, and the direction and mechanisms for ongoing ritual change and revival in the present. She melds together attention to both the rituals themselves as well as the personal and structural relationships among the bereaved, the private funeral agents, the state funeral parlors, and state funeral policy makers. Her research is focused at the intersection of interests in urban Chinese modernities, China’s partial experiments at privatization of state industries, the fluid, often ambiguous positions of (non-) governmental organizations, and the formation, enactment, and contestation of different ideas of citizen and selfhood in Shanghai’s modernist funeral rituals.

Liu’s earlier M.Phil. research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong also focused on another intersection between modernity, capitalism, and identity by exploring the socio-cultural factors that underlie and parallel the recent dramatic increase in betel nut consumption in Taiwan. Her writings based on this fieldwork detail how performances of masculinity, Taiwan’s specific contestations over ethnicity, and the emergence of a working-class culture all intertwine and are implicated in this rise.


M. Phil. Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
BA Journalism, National Chengchi University, Taiwan


  • Dean’s Fellowship
  • Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA) Fellowship
  • Long-Term GRAF
  • Taiwanese Ministry of Education Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship


2010. “Substance, Masculinity, and Class: Betel Nut Consumption and Embarrassing Modernity in Taiwan,” in Charismatic Modernity: Popular Culture in Taiwan, Marc L. Moskowitz eds. Routledge. pp.131-148.

2010. Co-author (with Charles Lindholm). Review of Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity and the Exaggerated Death of Lament (James Wilce). Ethos. Vol. 38, Issue 3

2009. Co-authored (with Joseph Bosco and Matthew West). “Underground Lotteries in China: The Occult Economy and Capitalist Culture,” in Research in Economic Anthropology: Economic Develop, Integration, and Morality in Asia and Americas, Vol. 29, Donald C. Wood ed. pp.31-62. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.