Associate Professor and Associate Head
514 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0450
See Also: Curriculum Vitae
Megan Bryson’s research focuses primarily on themes of gender and ethnicity in Chinese religions, especially in the Dali region of Yunnan Province. The geographical specificity of her work is balanced by its temporal breadth, which ranges from the Nanzhao (649-903) and Dali (937-1253) kingdoms to the present, as reflected in her monograph, Goddess on the Frontier: Religion, Ethnicity, and Gender in Southwest China (Stanford University Press, 2016), which traces the worship of a local deity in Dali from the 12th to 21st centuries. Bryson has also published several journal articles in such venues as the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Asia Major.Her work is interested in how regions such as Dali complicate categories of “Chineseness,” including the category of Chinese religions itself, as well as how gender and ethnicity intersect. Bryson’s current projects continue these conversations related to ethnicity and gender: these projects include a monograph tracing Buddhist transmission along the southwestern Silk Road and the co-edited volume (with Kevin Buckelew) Buddhist Masculinities. Bryson’s research has been supported by an ACLS fellowship and she received a Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement in 2019. She regularly teaches courses on Asian religions, including Religions of Asia, Chinese Religions, Japanese Religions, and Mindfulness. Her work in the classroom was recognized with university- and college-level teaching awards in 2013 and 2019. Bryson has also been actively involved in creating the department’s new major concentration and minor in Religion and Nonprofit Leadership.
- Ph.D., Religious Studies, Stanford University, 2010
- B.A., Religious Studies and Chinese, University of Oregon, 2000