Dr. Zhen Ma, 2017-2021
Ma Zhen was a Post-doctoral Researcher and works in the Department of Religious Diversity. She was working on a project dealing with transnational interactions between Southwest China and Myanmar, with a focus on the two interrelated issues of Theravada Buddhist networks and cross-border marriage. She was previously funded by a CSC-DAAD Scholarship 2016 and joined the Institute in February 2017. She attended her Ph.D. at the School for the Study of Ethnology and Sociology, Minzu University of China. Her Ph.D. research was about Pu‘er tea, and the encounter between Chinese ethnic minorities and modernity in Southwest China. Her research interest covers Theravada Buddhist culture, material culture and visual anthropology, with a special reference to ethnic minorities in Southwest China, such as the Bulang, Dai, Wa, and Bai. In addition to her research writing, she has also made five ethnographic films. Her film “Living on Tea” was nominated by The Second Beijing Ethnographic Film Festival in November 2017.