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Evans Marcus, Ph.D. Student, Asian Field

photo of Marcus Evans

Marcus Evans

Ph.D. Student, Asian Field

PhD Students
Department of Religious Studies

Area(s) of Interest:


I am trained in Religion & the Social Sciences with a general background and comprehensive examinations in East Asian religions. My research is within the field(s) of Religion and Afro-Asian encounters in North American history and popular culture. I am currently writing my disseration on Afro-Asian connections and Afro-Orientalism in cultural productions of RZA, the hip-hop artist and director from the Wu-Tang Clan.

He is also interested in:

  • Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • Comparative Studies on Embodiment and Self-cultivation (Body & Religion)
  • Phenomenology of Religion & Phenomenological Anthropology
  • Emotions and Religious Aesthetics
  • Religion and Popular Culture (Hip-Hop and Film)
  • Asian Religions


  • American Academy of Religions Religion and Arts Travel Grant (2018)
  • McMaster University GSA Keith Leppmann Teaching Assistant Excellence Award nominee (2018).
  • School of Graduate Studies International Excellence Award (2015).

Personal Interests

Bebop and hard-bop jazz, movie theaters and popcorn with lots of butter, 90s hip-hop, japanese styled breakfast(s), japanese dramas, early morning and evening hikes in the quiet surroundings of nature, coffee, ridin' in a car with my companion, pretending to be a poet, Leroi Jones, Bob Kaufman, Wright on....


  • Western Kentucky University, BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies, 2006
  • Western Kentucky University, MA in Religious Studies (2014)
  • MA Thesis: "Shinto: An Experience of Being at Home in the World"
  • MA Committee: Paul Fischer, Jeffrey Samuels, Lindsey Powell (died: 2013), and Eric Bain-Selbo


Teaching Experience

  • McMaster University (Spring 2020), "What on Earth is Religion," Online;
  • McMaster University (Winter 2020), "Great Books of Asian Religions";
  • Western Kentucky University (Fall 2014 & Spring 2015), "Introduction to Religious Studies."

TA Experience

  • Religious Studies 103. Introduction to Asian Religions, taught by Dr. Jeffery Samuels. 2011-2012. Western Kentucky University.
  • Religious Studies 101.    Introduction to Religion, taught by Dr. Paul Fischer. 2012-2013. Western Kentucky University.
  • Religious Studies. 3E03  Japanese Religions and Films, taught by Dr. Mark Rowe. Fall 2015. McMaster University.
  • Religious Studies. 1J03   Great Books of Asia, taught by Joseph LaRose. Winter 2016. McMaster University
  • Religious Studies 1B06   What on Earth is Religion? Taught by Philippa Carter. Fall 2016-Winter 2017. McMaster University


Conference Presentations

  • American Academy of Religion (November 2018): "Man with the Iron Fists: Anti-Racism and Afro-Asian Solidarity in Film.' Panel: Transnational Religious Expression: Exchanges Between North America and Asia. American Academy of Religion (November 2018):
  • “East Asian Religious Dimensions of the Wu-Tang Clan: Racial and Religious Transcendence in the Life-Narrative of RZA .” Panel: Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion

Undergraduate Conference Presentations

Western Kentucky University (Spring 2006). "Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths: Introduction to a Youth Oriented Religious Movement in a Youth Oriented Culture” Paper presented at Western Kentucky University’s Potter College of Arts and Letters Undergraduate Conference.

Other Conference Activity (Graduate)

Western Kentucky University (April 2013). Chair for the 39th Conference on Value Inquiry: Virtue, Vice and Character. Hosted by Western Kentucky University. Section Title: Confucian Shi: Poetic Virtue Section Title: Character and Ultimate Principles in Chinese Philosophy