Institution: Max Planck Institute for the study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Position: postdoctoral fellow


Ma Zhen is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Religious Diversity. She is currently 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 in 2016 and has been at the institute since February 2017. She earned a Ph.D. at the School for the Study of Ethnology and Sociology, Minzu University of China. In her doctoral thesis, she dealt with pu’er tea and the encounter between Chinese ethnic minorities and modernity in southwest China. Her research interests are in the culture of Theravada Buddhism, material culture and visual anthropology, particularly with respect to ethnic minorities in southwest China such as the Bulang, Dai, Wa and Bai. In addition to her research, she has also made five ethnographic films. Her film “Living on Tea” was nominated by the Second Beijing Ethnographic Film Festival in November 2017.

Ma Zhen
Research Areas: