LAI Lili

PhD, Associate Professor

The research field    

Anthropology, STS, Medicine


Education experience     

2000-2009    Dept. of Anthropology, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Work experience     

2011-now     Peking University

2009-2011    Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, Peking University (Postdoctor)


Academic community    

Editorial Board, Cultural Anthropology (US)


Social part-time job

Board member of Dream Corps International


Academic papers     

[1] A Place at the End of a Road: A Yin-Yang Geography, Anthropologica 59(2017): 216-227. (With Judith Farquhar, Marshall Kramer)

[2] Reproductive Anxiety and Practical Reasoning: An anthropological observation of IVF technology (in Chinese), Journal of Xinan Minzu University (Humanities and Social Sciences), Issue 9, 2017.

[3] Language as Material Being (in Chinese), Chinese Journal of Language Policy and Planning, Issue 4, 2017.

[4] Four Dimensions of Studying Everyday Life (in Chinese), Exploration and Free Views, Issue 1, 2017.

[5] Historical Formation and Anxiety for Scientization in Contemporary Chinese Medicine (in Chinese), Beijing Cultural Review, Issue 2, 2017.

[6] Nationality Medicines in China: Institutional Rationality and Healing Charisma, Comparative Studies of Society and History 2015, 57 (2): 381-405. (With Judith Farquhar)

[7] Information and Its Practical Other: Crafting Zhuang Nationality Medicine, East Asian Science,        Technology and Society 2014 (8): 417- 437. (With Judith Farquhar)

[8] Multisited and Collaborative Ethnography: Inspirations from minority nationalities research in the Southwest (in Chinese), Journal of Guangxi Minzu University (Humanities and Social Sciences), 2014, 36 (6).

[9] The Local Intimacies of China’s Rural-Urban Divide, Positions: Asia Critique 2014 summer, 22(3): 543-550.

[10] Everyday Hygiene in Rural Henan, Positions: Asia Critique 2014 summer, 22(3): 635-659.

[11] Knowledge and Lingyan: A discussion on the modern charisma in the development of minority nationalities medicine (in Chinese), Thought Frontiers, Issue 2, 2014.

[12] Immanent Sociality: Open-ended Belonging, Theory & Event, 2013, 16(3), the Johns Hopkins University Press.

[13] Normalizing and Reproducing Knowledge: An example of salvaging and sorting Zhuang nationality medicine (in Chinese), Open Times, 2013: 40(1).

[14] A Cultural Plaza in Shang Village: Why Culture? Whose Plaza?” in Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, Vol. 41 No.2, 2012.

[15] Body, Embodiment, Experience: A cultural anthropological investigation, in Anthropology Lectures, Volume 1, Beijing: Intellectual Property Press, 2012.

[16] Waste Management Challenges in China’s Urbanizing Countryside, in Journal of Yunnan Normal University, Vol. 43 No. 2, 2011.

[17] Scientizing Chinese Medicine – an anthropological observation (in Chinese), in Chinese Review of Anthropology, vol. 16. Beijing: The World Publishing Corporation, 2010.



Hygiene, Sociality, and Culture in Contemporary China: The Uncanny New Village. Amsterdam University Press, 2016.


Academic translation     

[1] “Language to Infinity”, “History of Systems of Thought” by Michel Foucault, in the Foucault Reader (in Chinese), ed. by Wang Min’an, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2009.

[2] Edited volume: From Deconstruction to the Critique of Globalization: A Spivak Reader (In Chinese), with Chen Yongguo, Guo Yingjian, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2007. (Including translations of several chapters)

[3] The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies: Determinations of Self in Immune System Discourse (in Chinese), by Donna Haraway, in Avant-garde Today, Issue 13. Tianjin: Tianjin Social Sciences Publisher, 2005.

[4] Eating Chinese Medicine (in Chinese), by Judith Farquhar, in Difference, Issue 2. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press, 2005.

[5] Body Politics in the SARS Crisis, by Wang Min’an, trans. with Judith Farquhar, in Positions 12(2): 587-596. Duke University Press, 2004.

The teaching material


Research subject     

[1] Healing and Heritage: Sorting out Ethnic Traditional Medicines in China, A collaborative project with Dr. Judith Farquhar of the University of Chicago. In progress.

[2] The Social Impact of Assisted Reproductive Technology, Junior Faculty Research Project, Institute of Medical Humanities, Peking University. In progress.

[3] How Medical Institutions Promote the Public Understanding of Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Case Study Research Project, Peking University Health and Science Center. In progress.

[4] Everyday Hygiene and Environment in Rural China, Postdoctoral Research Project, Peking University. 2009-2011.

[5] Waste Management Challenges in China’s Urbanizing Countryside, A collaborative project with One Earth Designs, US and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2010-2011.