Simona Lazzerini is a PhD student at Stanford University in the department of Religious Studies working on Chinese Buddhism. She earned her BA from Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy) in Modern Languages (Mandarin Chinese and English). She also holds three master degrees, one in Chinese Philosophy and Culture from Fudan University (2013); one in East Asian Studies from Central Connecticut State University (2013); one in Religious Studies from Columbia University (2016).
Simona is interested in the study of Buddhist female deities, how their worship was brought to East Asia, how it evolved and acquired indigenous characteristics. She also works on Buddhist demonology, more specifically she studies the role demons play in Buddhist narratives, their conversion, and their worship as demigods. Other areas of interest include: popular practices, Chinese and Japanese material culture, the use violence in East Asian Buddhism, and gender issues. Her current research is aimed at analyzing the origins and development of the cult of Hariti (Guizimu, Kishimojin) in China and Japan, particularly her demonic features, and the popular practices centered on her.
Research Interests: female deities, popular practices, demonology, Chinese and Japanese material culture, violence in religious practices
Cuisine of choice to subsist off of for the rest of her life: Chinese