The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Zhange (Nicole) Ni, an assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, for her study of the intersection of world religion and world literature.
Her research interests include the formation of religion and the secular, primarily in East Asia; modern and contemporary world literature; and theories of sex, gender, and sexuality. She is an expert on Chinese and Japanese sacred and secular languages, literatures, and traditions.
She has published in the Journal of Religion and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and has written two books: “The Pagan Writes Back: Religion and Literature in Contemporary Novels” and “Women, Literature, and the Subterraneous History of Religion in Modern China.“
In 2016 Ni received the university’s Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. She used her award to organize a student conference, “Making Monsters,” in the spring of 2017. “Making Monsters” served as a forum for discussion on the exploration of the fiction and reality of monsters in relation to the cultural divide between the humanities and social sciences on one side and science and engineering on the other.
Ni received her Ph.D. in Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2009 and was a research associate and visiting assistant professor at the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School from 2010 to 2011.
She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Modern Language Association.