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Vivian Chenxue Lu

Sociology Professor

Assistant Professor of Anthropology (at Lincoln Center)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Email: [email protected]
Office: Lowenstein Hall 923A


B.A. Columbia University

Ph.D. Stanford University

Areas of Interest

Anthropology of capitalism, ethnoracialization, diaspora, Africa and the Global South


I am a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on capitalism, ethnoracialization, and diasporic mobilizations. At Fordham, I am Assistant Professor of Anthropology, a faculty affiliate in the African & African American Studies Department, and a faculty working group member on Asian American Studies. My first book manuscript (in progress) traces the extensive commercial migration of Igbo Nigerian businessmen across the Middle East and Asia. The project examines how these transnational south-south circuits are transforming social and economic life in Nigeria, with a focus on market formation, ethnoracialization, and discourses of postcolonial economic sovereignty.

My research has been supported by sources such as the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Before coming to Fordham, I was an African Studies postdoctoral associate at Yale University, a race and ethnicity studies graduate fellow at Stanford University, and a visiting Ph.D. student at the University of Lagos (Nigeria). I am currently the “Mobility, Migration, and Borders” sub-theme co-chair for the African Studies Association (US), and I am also involved in the Association for Feminist Anthropology and the Lagos Studies Association.

Beyond the first book project, I am currently building two projects on (1) Nigerian migration on the African continent in the context of contemporary pan-African and south-south economic formations, and (2) the nexus of race, local business, environmentalism, and parastatals in the Rocky Mountain Front Range urban corridor of the contemporary American West.

Publications: Articles

Lu, V.C., 2022. "Emplacing capital: Securing profit and citizenship in the Nigerian megacity." American Ethnologist 49(4):491-507 (

Lu, V.C., 2022. “Mobilizing home: Diasporic agitations in the global remakings of postwar southeastern Nigeria.” African Studies Review 65(1):118-142 (

Huang, Mingwei, V.C. Lu, Susan MacDougall, & Megan Steffan, 2018. “Disciplinary Violence.” Anthropology News 59(3):79-82

Lu, V.C., 2017. “Agitating the State: Biafran Money, Memes, and Mobility.” The Republic: Journal of Nigerian Affairs Vol. 5: On Violence & Civil War (

Lu, V.C., 2017. “Biafra—Nostalgia as Critique.” Africa is a Country (


ANTH 1100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 2895 Anthropology of Capitalism

ANTH 3650 What is the Global South? Africa in the World

ANTH 4600 Global South Megacities