Students and professor earn grant to conduct research in China

Religious Studies Professor Xijuan Zhou and five Willamette undergraduates have earned a travel grant from ASIANetwork to travel to China for a three-week research project.

The Freeman Student-Faculty Award will allow Zhou and her students - Kali Bonife '12, Morgan Faricy '10, Audrey Hirschberger '12, Heather Hurlburt '12 and Matthew Satterthwaite '12 - to visit villages in the Sichuan Province this summer to study the shamanic rituals and symbols of the Yi folk culture.

They will meet village shamans, interview residents, observe folk culture, and record rituals, including rites of passage and shamanic songs, music and performance.

The students will present their research on campus in the fall. They also will write a paper on their findings.

Zhou and her students worked together on their successful grant application, with the students writing the project descriptions.

"Each student demonstrates a different strength related to our research topic: three of them study music and performance, one focuses on rites of passage and one focuses on the economy," Zhou says. "This is truly an outstanding group of students."

Learn more: Department of Chinese Studies, Department of Religious Studies