Yen-Yu Lin

I am Yen-Yu Lin, a global and transnational sociologist using qualitative methods to study race, empires, and material culture.

View my CV

At the University of Virginia (UVa), I am a Ph.D. candidate working on a dissertation titled, "Colors of the Empire: Visual Representations of Race and Gender in Taiwan under Japanese Imperial Rule."

My general research interests are at the intersections of global and transnational sociology and comparative-historical sociology. My specific research keywords include material culture, empires, race, and gender. I am particularly interested in the relationship between material culture and systems of domination, and how this relationship historically affects marginalized people.

My other working research projects include (1) Confederate monuments and memory activism in Charlottesville, Virginia after the Summer of Hate in 2017; (2) Pacifist nationalism and commemoration of the defeat of WWII in post-1945 Japanese society. Both projects are about commemorative culture and historical reparations.

I have taught Criminology (SOC 2230) and Intro to Sociology (SOC 1010) at UVa. I am committed to teaching difficult topics such as class, race, and gender from a comparative perspective.

Prior to my Ph.D. studies, I was trained in political science at National Taiwan University (Taiwan) and Waseda University (Japan).


  • I served as the Program Director of North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) during the academic year 2021-2022.

  • I am a co-founder of a student NGO "Ngasan Maku Study Society in Tokyo," which was founded during the Sunflower Movement in 2014. "Ngasan Maku" means "my home" in Atayal (one of the Taiwanese aboriginal languages). Welcome to visit our Facebook page and blog and see what the Taiwanese student activists have been doing in Tokyo.