Mark R.E. Meulenbeld

is assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Trained in the philological tradition of Leiden University, he earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2007 with a dissertation on Thunder Gods, describing the extensive relationship between late Ming vernacular "novels" and Daoist liturgy. He is now transforming his dissertation into a book with a special emphasis on the particular social environment of local temple festivals that formed the arena where the cross-fertilization between "religion" and "literature" took place. Fieldwork among Daoists in Hunan and Taiwan has helped shape a theoretical framework for this enterprise. Some of the other work in progress includes a study of the theology and demonic representations of Guanyin's violated body during the late imperial age.