Sun Jiayue

      SUN JIAYUE 孫嘉玥

      PhD student (Admitted in 2022 – 2023)
      Field Area: Religion and Anthropology


      SUN Jiayue is a PhD student at the Institute, starting in September 2022. He received an MPhil degree from the Institute, supervised by Professor David A Palmer and Professor Angela K C Leung. His thesis applies “textual anthropology” to study the spread of a Chinese Buddhist narrative, the Story of Woman Huang (黃氏女), among the Lanten Yao people (藍靛瑤). He completed his bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with first-class honors at the University of Hong Kong.

      Jiayue is a member of the Yao Dao Team at the Asian Religious Connections research cluster of the Institute. His current research focuses on the Lanten Yao people’s popular literature and cross-ethnic cultural interactions.

      Besides being a scholar, Jiayue is also a Chinese-language poet with several works published in Shikan (詩刊), Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine (聲韻詩刊), etc. He is also interested in performance art and currently runs a student art group.


      G07, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong
      Tel: (852) 3917-5907

      Sharing & Experiences

      Born and raised in Shanghai, I came to Hong Kong for higher education and completed my bachelor’s and MPhil degrees at HKU. This university is already home to me, and pursuing a PhD here is a familiar yet still challenging task.

      During my undergraduate studies, I was trained in sociology, counseling, and Buddhist studies, and I developed a general interest in religion and literature. After being admitted to the Institute, I started researching the Yao people thanks to Professor Palmer’s introduction. However, COVID-19 prevented me from conducting fieldwork during my entire MPhil period. Fortunately, the Yao Dao Team at the Institute has accumulated an incredibly rich database of written materials, and I started studying their stories by experimenting with the method of “textual anthropology,” namely, to treat texts like anthropologists treat people.

      My past research projects include a study of the Charters of Emperor Ping (評王券牒), rice-related myths and rituals, the stories of Woman Huang (黃氏女), Tan Qing (譚清), Zhu Yingtai (祝英台), etc. They have turned into several unpublished papers as well as two presentations at ICAS-12 (Aug 2021) and the International Conference on Daoist Ritual and Chinese Society (Nov 2021). For my PhD studies, I plan to conduct a comprehensive textual analysis of all Lanten narratives scattered in storybooks, ritual texts, and oral traditions.

      Research Interests

      Lanten Yao people; popular literature; ethnic literature; cultural anthropology

      Thesis Project

      (Provisional) A universe of storytelling: Popular literature of the Lanten Yao people in Northern Laos


      Guo Huiwen 郭慧雯, Joseba Estevez, Sun Jiayue 孫嘉玥, An Wei 安蔚, and David A. Palmer.《老撾藍靛瑤文庫》:探討文本收集、編目、分類和評估的方法與相關問題 “The Textual Corpus of the Lanten Yao of Laos: Methodological Issues in the Collection, Cataloguing, Classification and Evaluation of Manuscripts.” 華人宗教研究 Studies in Chinese Religions 19 (2022): forthcoming.

      Joseba Estevez. 藍靛瑤手抄本:儀式知識傳承中的法器 “Lanten Manuscripts: Ritual Objects in the Transmission of Ritual Knowledge.” Sun Jiayue 孫嘉玥 trans. 華人宗教研究 Studies in Chinese Religions 19 (2022): forthcoming.

      Sun Jiayue. “Indigenous embryo, Daoist husk: Rice farming, myths, and rituals among the Lanten Yao.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Daoist Ritual and Chinese Society, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 15 October - 30 November, 2021.

      Thesis Supervisors