Natasha Heller studied at Harvard University (PhD, East Asian Languages and Civilizations), and before arriving at UCLA she spent two years as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the UC Berkeley. Her research engages the relationship between Buddhism and secular culture in China from the Tang dynasty through the Ming. She is currently completing a monograph that explores the cultural competencies necessary to be a successful monk through the life of the Yuan-dynasty Chan master Zhongfeng Mingben. Recent publications include “Why Has the Rhinoceros Come from the West? An Excursus into the Religious, Literary, and Environmental History of the Tang Dynasty” in Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.3 (2011) and “From Imperial Glory to Buddhist Piety: The Record of a Ming Ritual in Three Contexts,” History of Religions 51.1 (2011). She is starting work on two new projects: one will be a study of the treatment of injustice across literary, legal, and religious culture in pre-modern China, while the other project will examine Buddhist children’s literature in contemporary Taiwan.
UCLA - Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures
Royce Hall 290
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
Tel: (310) 206-8235 (department)