I am a Malaysian of Chinese descent who left home (Kuala Lumpur) to indulge a passion: to read for a degree in English Literature. This was followed by an MA (by research and thesis) on African American Literature, which then opened the floodgates of my interests in cross cultural, world literature. My PhD (at Durham University) was done in the Geography Department, positioning my thesis on Postcolonial South Asian Literature at the crossroads of literary, cultural and geographical studies. I am currently an interdisciplinary Human Geographer, primarily working on postcolonial studies and gender studies. My interests lie in issues of knowledge, narrative, power, class, and identity.
Research and scholarship
I am a postcolonialist with an international reputation for pioneering re-orientalism theory and discourse. As an expert on South Asian Literature, I have worked on gender studies, literary geographies, diaspora and migration, urban studies. I have published on issues of representation, narrative, identity construction, class, power, precarity, commercial surrogacy, and hospitality. I have also worked with the World Bank on 10 consultancies. Alongside my research in postcolonialism, I am currently working on Decolonising the Curriculum and associated issues.
FELLOW OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACADEMY (FHEA)
· GEG-10013 - Human Geographies (Module Leader)
· GEG-10012 Practising Human Geography
· ESC-10035 Geographical Skills II
· GEG-20015 Space and Society
· GEG- 20010 Practical Human Geography
· GEG-20018 - Concepts and Debates
· GEG 20009 Geographical Research Training (and Singapore Fieldcourse Leader)
· ESC-20049/50 Dynamic Geographies
· GEG-30015 Postcolonialism in South Asia - Module Leader
· GEG-30006 - Single Dissertation- Module Leader
· GEG-30008 - Double Dissertation- Module Leader
· MA in Human Geography and Sustainability
· MA Geographical and Environmental Research
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS 2018-Current
- Lau L and Mendes AC. 2021. Twenty-First-Century Antigones: The Postcolonial Woman Shaped by 9/11 in Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire. Studies in the Novel, 54-68, vol. 53(1). doi> link> full text>
- Lau, L. (2021) “No Longer Just Victims: Indian Women Create New Fiction and New Gender Roles”, in Deepika Bahri and Fillippo Menozzi (eds.) Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women Writers, New York, Modern Language Association.
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2020. Urban redevelopment, the new logics of expulsion, and individual precarity in Kleber Mendonca Filho's Aquarius and Aravind Adiga's Last Man in Tower. CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES, 117-132, vol. 27(1). link> doi> full text>
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2019. The precarious lives of India’s Others: The creativity of precarity in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 1-13. doi> full text>
- Lau LE. 2019. Romancing the other: Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Journal of Commonwealth Literature. doi> full text>
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2019. A postcolonial framing of international commercial gestational surrogacy in India: Re-orientalisms and power differentials in Meera Syal's The House of Hidden Mothers. INTERVENTIONS-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES, 318-336, vol. 21(3). link> doi> full text>
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2019. The conjunctural spaces of "new India': imagined geographies of 2010s India in representations by returnee migrants. CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES, 57-72, vol. 26(1). link> doi> full text>
- Lau LE. 2018. Re-orientalism and Representation: Aman Sethi Talks About Delhi. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 372-386, vol. 54(3). doi> full text>
- Lau L. 2018. A postcolonial framing of Indian commercial surrogacy: issues, representations, and orientalisms. GENDER PLACE AND CULTURE, 666-685, vol. 25(5). link> doi> full text>
- Lau LE and Dawson-Varughese E. 2015. Indian Writing in English and Issues of Visual Representation: Judging a Book by More Than Its Cover. Palgrave.
- Dwivedi OP and Lau L. 2014. Indian Writing in English and the Global Literary Market. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Lau L and Dwivedi OP. 2014. Re-Orientalism and Indian Writing in English. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Lau LE and Dwivedi OP. 2014. Indian Writing in English and the Global Literary Market. Palgrave.
- Lau L. 2010. Re-Orientalism and South Asian Identity Politics: The Oriental Other Within. London: Routledge.
JOURNAL ARTICLES 2003-2016
- Lau L. 2016. Post-9/11 re-orientalism: Confrontation and conciliation in Mohsin Hamid’s and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Journal of Commonwealth Literature. doi> link> full text>
- Lau L and Mendes AC. 2018. Hospitality and Re-Orientalist Thresholds: Amit Chaudhuri Writes Back to India. SOUTH ASIA-JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES, 705-722, vol. 41(4). link> doi> full text>
- Lau LE. 2016. The Sinhalese Diaspora: New Directions of Sri Lankan Diasporic Writing. South Asia: journal of South Asian studies. doi> full text>
- Lau LE. 2015. India’s women and the writing process: Interview with Manju Kapur. South Asian Popular Culture. doi> full text>
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2015. INDIA THROUGH RE-ORIENTALIST LENSES Vicarious Indulgence and Vicarious Redemption. INTERVENTIONS-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES, 706-727, vol. 17(5). link> doi>
- Mendes AC and Lau L. 2014. India Through Re-Orientalist Lenses: Vicarious Indulgence and Vicarious Redemption. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 706-727, vol. 17(5). doi> full text>
- Lau LE. 2014. No Longer Good Girls. Gender Place and Culture. doi>
- Lau L and Pasquini MW. 2004. Meeting grounds: perceiving and defining interdisciplinarity across the arts, social sciences and sciences. INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 49-64, vol. 29(1). link> doi>
- Lau L. 2004. Virtually positioned: investigating identity and positionality in a case study of South Asian literature in cyberspace. INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 65-76, vol. 29(1). link> doi>
- Lau LE and Mendes A. Authorities of Representation: Speaking to and Speaking for. Connotations (New York): a journal of critical debate, vol. 22(1).
- Lau LE. 2011. The Male South Asian Domestic Servant: Master-Servant Relationships, Class Chasms, and Systematic Emasculation. Sri Lanka Journal of Humnanities, 35-54, vol. 37(1&2). doi>
- Lau L. 2010. South Asian mistresses and servants: The fault lines between class chasms and individual intimacies. Pakistani Journal of Women's Studies.
- Lau L. 2010. Literary Representations of the 'New Indian Woman': The Single, Working, Urban, Middle Class Indian Woman Seeking Personal Autonomy. JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN DEVELOPMENT, 271-292, vol. 5(2). link> doi>
- Lau L. 2009. Re-Orientalism: The Perpetration and Development of Orientalism by Orientals. MODERN ASIAN STUDIES, 571-590, vol. 43. link> doi>
- Lau L and Pasquini M. 2008. 'Jack of all trades'? The negotiation of interdisciplinarity within geography. GEOFORUM, 552-560, vol. 39(2). link> doi>
- Daya S and Lau L. 2007. Power and narrative. NARRATIVE INQUIRY, 1-11, vol. 17(1). link>
- Lau L. 2007. The language of power and the power of language. NARRATIVE INQUIRY, 27-47, vol. 17(1). link>
- Lau LE. 2007. The language of power and the power of language: The usage of English by South Asian Writers, and the subsequent creation of South Asian image and identity. Narrative Inquiry, 27-47, vol. 17(1). doi>
- LAU LE. 2006. Emotional and Domestic Territories: The Positionality of Women as Reflected in the Landscape of the Home in Contemporary South Asian Women's Writings. Modern Asian Studies, 1097-1116, vol. 40(4). doi>
- LAU LE. 2006. The New Indian woman: Who is she, and what is “New” about her?. Women's Studies International Forum, 159-171, vol. 29(2). doi>
- LAU LE, Barke M, Mowl G. 2006. UK Local Authority Place Promotion: changing contexts and changing priorities. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REGIONAL AND LOCAL STUDIES, 20-42, vol. 2(1). doi>
- Lau L. 2005. Making the difference: The differing presentations and representations of South Asia in the contemporary fiction of home and diasporic South Asian women writers. MODERN ASIAN STUDIES, 237-256, vol. 39. link> doi>
- Lau L. 2003. Equating womanhood with victimhood: the positionality of women protagonists in the contemporary writings of South Asian women. Women’s Studies International Forum, 369-378, vol. 26(4). doi>
- Lau, L. (2021) No Longer Just Victims: Indian Women Create New Fiction and New Gender Roles, in Deepika Bahri and Fillippo Menozzi (Eds) Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women Writers, New York: Modern Language Association.
- Lau LE. 2013. Representations Juxtaposed: A Home Author and a Diasporic Author Depict Coorg. In South Asian Diaspora [to be confirmed]. New York: Cambria Press.
- LAU L. 2011. Introduction: Re-Orientalism: A new manifestation of Orientalism. In Re-orientalism and South Asian Identity Politics. Lau and Mendes AC (Eds.). Routledge.
- Lau and Mendes. 2011. Re-Orientalism in Contemporary Indian Writing in English (IWE). In Re-Orientalism and South Asian Identity Politics: The Oriental Other Within. London: Routledge.
- Ayers W and Ayers R. 2011. Introduction. (vol. 63). link>
2012 - current Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies (JPCS)
2017 - current Journal of eSocialSciences and Humanities (eSSH).
2018 - current Precarity, Populism and Post-truth Politics Research Network
2020 – current British Chinese Studies Network