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Former Hughes Fellows

2022-23 Hughes Fellows

Lang Chen

Office Information: Room 441, Suite 400, Weiser Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042


PhD, Religious Studies, Yale University
MTS., Harvard Divinity School
BA, Chinese Literature, Peking University


Lang CHEN’s research interests focus on the religious ideas, praxis, and pursuits of urban, educated Chinese from the late imperial period on. Her book project aims to uncover the often-neglected history of Tiantai Buddhism in the 16th to 17th century. It examines the lay and clerical networks centering on the leading Tiantai monk Youxi Chuandeng (1554-1628) and their interactions with Chan Buddhism. Contrary to the widespread impression of Tiantai as a school for detached pundits, her research shows that it was supported by many liberal literati to be an alternative approach to Chan, seeking to make Buddhist doctrines and practices comprehensible for average people. Lang CHEN’s side projects explore how the religious tradition of Chinese literati seen in the 16-17th century has been influencing and adapted in modern and contemporary China.  For example, in her journal articles, she situates contemporary writer Shi Tiesheng (1951-2010)’s “syncretic,” non-institutional religious thought within this historical context, showing the continuity of Chinese literati's religious life. 

Yu Shu

Office Information: Room 406, Suite 400, Weiser Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042


PhD, Anthropology, Peking University, 2009
BA, History, Yunnan University, 2004


Yu SHU’s theoretical interests concern materiality and environmental anthropology, with an empirical focus on exchange, traditional technique, modernity, landscape etc. My fieldwork has focused primarily on Southwest of China (especially Yunnan province). Research interests: material culture, landscape, ritual, history, ethnic minorities in China


  1. The social life of salt: a historical anthropological study of salt industry in Nuodeng Village, Yunnan, World Publishing Corporation press, 2010 (monograph)
  2. Cultural Combinations: Ritual, Person, and Exchange in Southwest China, ( Co-edited with Mingming Wang) Post Wave Publishing Corporation press, 2015