Yao Lu

Yao Lu Portrait

Position Title
Ph.D. Candidate

SS&H 284

Research Focus

Empire and colonialism, post-independent nation-states, politics of race and counting, sociology of Africa, postcolonial/decolonial thought, global historical sociology.


"Post-Independent Nation-States and Racial Classification in Africa: Zambia and Zimbabwe 1961-1992."

Working Papers:

"Counting Colonial-Race: Censuses in Africa from 1881 to 2020."

"What Shapes Racial Attitudes in Post-Colonial Africa? Evidence from Zambia."

"Big Dispersal and Small Concentration: Chinese Spatial Assimilation in Lusaka, Zambia (With YAN Hairong and Barry Sautman)." Under review.

Research Affiliation

University of Zambia Department of Social Work and Sociology, 2023-present

University of Zimbabwe Department of History Heritage and Knowledge Systems, 2023-present


Yan, Hairong, Barry Sautman, and Yao Lu. 2020. “Chinese and ‘Self-Segregation’ in Africa.” Pp 40-66 in Chinese in Africa: 'Chineseness’ and the Complexities of Identities, edited by Obert Hodzi. Routledge. (Originally published as a special issue of Asian Ethnicity.)

Lu, Yao. 2020. Review of Queering Colonial Natal: Indigeneity and the Violence of Belonging in Southern Africa by T.J. Tallie. EuropeNow special feature on Race and Racism in Europe: The Urgency of Now.

Lu, Yao. 2019. Review of The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa by Ching Kwan Lee. Journal of Chinese Overseas 15(2):295-297.


Associate Instructor

Introduction to Sociology

Teaching Assistant

Political Sociology

Classical Theory

Global Social Change

Social Movements

Social Policy

Sociology of Culture

Immigration and Opportunity

Data Visualization

Introduction to Social Research

Self and Society

China and Africa (HKUST)

International Law (HKUST)

China and the World (HKUST)

China-U.S. Relations (HKUST)

Understanding Society (HKUST)


2023-24 Graduate Program Fellowship, UC Davis ($14,359)

2022 Dean’s Summer Graduate Fellowship, UC Davis ($4,050)

2022 Leon Mayhew Prize for the Best Qualifying Paper in Sociology, UC Davis ($1,000)