Ru-Yu is a PhD student from the Republic of China (Taiwan); most people call her Iris. Her doctoral research, titled ‘Nature, Power, Migration and Climate Change in the Eastern Himalayas’ looks at the role of emotions/irrationality in climate change adaptation, how the environmental changes sensed take shapes in transforming the human-nature relationship and embodied in cosmological beliefs and indigenous knowledge.
She has many years of experiences on food and housing in disaster-prone areas and on involuntary migrations. She is currently thinking about re-conceptualising displacement and place-attachment with questions about values and laws.
She is a decedent of the Austronesian indigenous, Chinese South-costal immigration and post-WWII exile military community. She speaks/teaches Mandarin and Min/Hoklo/Taiwanese. She is familiar with the Han-Chinese culture, Confucian ethics and Taoist belief. Having her root on the conflict-affected island, she worked and travelled extensively in the Western parts and major cities in China, and Eastern Tibet. From 2010 to 2016, she lived in India (Delhi, Himachal, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka); she is a proud adopted daughter of a family in the Tibetan Rehabilitation and Resettlement Camp in South India.
She holds a BA in Economics and Gender Studies from the National Taiwan University, an MA in Sociology with China Studies from the National Tsing Hua University (Dual degree with the Academia Sinica – the best research institute in Taiwan), and an MA in Anthropology from University of Sussex. Out of her research interest, she also holds certificates in the Ayurvedic and Thai medicinal basics. Feminism taught her to observe and respect identities and differences; it also inspired her to explore postcolonial methodology and the agency of nature.
She has taught in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, the Tibet Policy Institute and many other educational institutions of different levels and kinds. During her fieldwork with the Tibetan Children’s Village, she co-designed the curriculum and facilitated the teacher training for the Mandarin Class, managed the crowdfunding and public relations of the project, also led a photo skills/voice workshop for the teenagers, help prepare the next exile generation tools for self-expression and peace dialogues. Her more recent work with the Tibetans focuses on ageing and dying in the poor and remote refugee settlement.
She volunteered for the Southeastern Asian woman migrants in domestic violence cases, listening and translating for them through court hearings and health counselling sessions. She wrote articles for Taiwanese media including the private sector refugee reception facilities in Nordic countries. She writes for the academic and non-academic, children and adults. When she is not at the situational worker identity, she likes to talk to non-human beings and ponder on multi-species communications.