Elena Valussi studied Chinese Religions and History at SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, obtaining her PhD in 2003 with a dissertation on Daoist meditation techniques for women. Elena has published widely on the topic of religion and gender in China and on the transmission of religious texts and practices across China. She has lectured in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Hong Kong and she was a visiting scholar at the University of Venice. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the History Department at Loyola University Chicago. She is affiliated with the research group ‘Critical Concepts and Methods for the Study of Religion in Modern China’ at the University of Groningen. She is currently interested in religious diversity in the Sichuan province of China, and she is co-director of a three-year project funded by the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation: ‘Mapping Religious Diversity in Modern Sichuan: A Spatial and Social Study of Communities and Networks’. She is also a Visiting Fellow for the year 2017-2018 at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, University of Erlangen, with a project on ‘Spirit Writing and the Uncertainty of the Future in Late Imperial China’. She has been the co-chair for the Daoist Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religions for the past 6 years, and she is an editor for the Daozang Jiyao Project. At the MPIWG she wants to map the development of merchant’s guildhalls as hybrid socio-religious spaces in late Imperial China.