MemberGregory Scott

…Columbia University
Doctor of Philosophy, Chinese Buddhism, Department of Religion, May 2013
Ph.D. Dissertation: “Conversion by the Book: Buddhist Print Culture in Early Republican China”

Academia Sinica 中央研究院
Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Modern History, September 2010 – June 2011

University of Toronto
Master of Arts in East Asian Studies, August 2005
M.A. Thesis: “Heterodox Religious Groups and the State in Ming-Qing China

York University
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in East Asian Studies, Minor in History, June 2003
summa cum laude…

I am a historian whose work focuses on religion in modern China, especially Buddhism.

MemberJesse Sloane


“Cosmos, State, and Individual in Late Ming Travel Narratives to the Home of Confucius.” Ming Studies 76 (October 2017): 53-79.

“Confucian Pilgrimage in Late Imperial and Republican China” Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies 17.2 (October 2017): 163-190.

“Frontier Monasteries under the Kitan, Jurchen, and Mongol Empires: Exception, Exaction, and Exemption.” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 22 (2016): 199-226.

“Connoisseurship in the Monastery: Discerning a Distinctive Identity for Jin Elites in Sacred Precincts.” Studies in Chinese Religions 1.4 (Dec 2015): 357-374.

“Mapping a S…

MemberMartino Dibeltulo Concu

I am a historian and translator of Buddhism. My expertise is in the study of Buddhism in China and Tibet in a trans-regional and trans-cultural frame, with a special emphasis on Buddhism in its classical and contemporary forms. My primary research areas include classical systems of scriptural interpretation and the history of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna traditions in India, China, and Tibet. I have a strong foundation in the study of Asia in the fields of language and philology, but my research also draws on anthropology, history, cultural and postcolonial studies, and religious studies. My current projects fall into two main areas. The first is the study of the history and historiography of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist relations. I focus in particular on Buddhist scriptures and Tibetan scholastic works as they were translated and interpreted by Chinese exegetes during the late imperial and Republican periods. The second area is the history of Buddhism in its encounter with European and American religious and philosophical formations. I am interested in the question of how the study of Buddhism influenced Enlightenment legacies and global thought during the modern age, specifically how the imagination of the Indian roots of Buddhism was shaped through global networks of knowledge and the modern forces of colonialism and nationalism in Asia. In addition, I translate works on the modern reception of Tibetan Buddhism in China. My current projects include the travelogue of a Chinese monk in Tibet during the age of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Fazun’s (1902-1980) Xiandai Xizang 現代西藏 (“Modern Tibet”), and the work of a “Chinese lama” drawing from the views of both Zen and rDzogs Chen, Fahai’s (1920-1991) Sheng conghe lai, si conghe qu 生從何來,死從何去 (“Life Begins After Death”). My teaching broadly reflects my research interests, including theory courses that examine the concepts of religion and magic, travel and place, scripture and practice across disciplinary boundaries, and thematic courses that engage classical works from both Chinese and Tibetan philosophical and religious traditions.

MemberLu Liu

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UW-Madison and 2018-2019 Dana-Allen dissertation fellow in the university’s Institute for Research in the Humanities. My dissertation, “Away/With the Pest: Hygienic Visuality and Narrations of the Interspecies Encounter in Modern China,” examines how modern China’s historical subject in collective forms is imagined with, through, and against the figure of the pest. Exploring literary, scientific, and ideological storytelling of the pest such as microbes, insects, and rats, I consider the dynamic human-pest relationship as an underlying force that structures modern China’s volatile biosocial relations.

MemberPaulo Vitor Airaghi

He is interested in Brazilian Republicanism and Republican Propaganda in Brazil’s XXth siècle. For his M.A work at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Paulo wrote a biography of a brazilian republican named José Leão Ferreira Souto (1850-1904) inquiring about the creation of a potyguar (related to people born in the Province/State of Rio Grande do Norte) identity in the turn of XIXth to XX Siècle. He is especially interested in obscure republicans and defeated political projects. Currently, he is a Phd. Student at UFRN and a Researcher at Grupo de Pesquisa Os Espaços na Modernidade. 

MemberCovell Meyskens

I am a historian of twentieth century China with particular interests in industrialization, revolution, and experiences and memories of war. In 2015, I received my PhD in History from the University of Chicago and then became an assistant professor in the department of National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School. My first book is titled Mao’s Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China. It examines how the Chinese Communist Party industrialized inland regions in order to protect socialist China from American and Soviet threats. I am currently working on two book projects. The first one – The Three Gorges Dam: Building a Hydraulic Engine for China – analyzes state-led efforts to transform China’s Three Gorges region into a hydraulic engine to power national development.  I am also in the process of researching a third book project tentatively titled, The People’s Army: A Social and Cultural History of the Military in China, 1927- present. My research has been supported by the Fulbright International Institute of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Commission, and the University of Chicago.

MemberSophie Couchman

Sophie is a curator and public historian. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University and an Honorary Research Associate at Museums Victoria. She is interested in the place of migrants in Australia’s history and has researched and published in the field of Chinese-Australian history for many years. She has just completed work at Museums Victoria as exhibition curator on ‘British Migrants: Instant Australians?’, a travelling exhibition exploring British migration to Australia after World War II and its significance today. Sophie has a particular interest in the creation and circulation of visual representations and how they shape our understandings of Australia’s past. She developed the Chinese Australian Historical Images in Australia website ( as part of the completion of her doctorate. She is currently working on a joint project between La Trobe University and Museums Victoria, ‘The Camera at Work’, which explores how changes in photographic technologies and practices transformed the visual documentation of factory life in Melbourne, 1870s through to the present day. While Curator at the Chinese Museum in Melbourne Sophie led a number of notable projects including ‘Language, A Key to Survival: Cantonese-English Phrasebooks in Australia’, which won a Museums & Galleries National Award for ‘Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement’ in 2014. She also led the development of ‘Chungking Legation: Australia’s diplomatic mission in wartime China’ exhibition and book in 2015 and in 2014 the tour to six locations in China of ‘Bridge of Memories: Exploring identity, diversity, community — An Australian touring exhibition in China’.