Dr. Alison R. Marshall

Dr. Alison R. Marshall teaches and researches Asian religion and history at Brandon University. Marshall studied Mandarin Chinese at Middlebury College, at Taiwan’s Fu Jen University, and also for her doctorate which she earned from University of Toronto’s East Asian Studies Department under the supervision of Dr. Julia Ching (Qín Jiāyì 秦家懿) (1934 –2001).

Married to Brian Mayes, Marshall was attracted to Asian studies through family connections—an uncle who ran an Asian import-export business in 1920s Montreal, and an aunt who worked for Toronto’s Chinese community. Dr. Marshall is the recipient of multiple local, national and international grants and awards, and a former program co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Religion and Migration Unit and the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion.

Dr. Marshall is  the author of three monographs in the field of Asian religion and history including The Way of the Bachelor: Early Chinese Settlement in Manitoba (2011) Winner of the 2015 Canadian Society for the Study of Religion Book Prize and the Manitoba Day Award, and Cultivating Connections:  The Making of Chinese Prairie Canada (2014) both with University of British Columbia Press.  Her third book, Bayanihan and Belonging: Filipinos and Religion in Canada (University of Toronto Press) written in 2018, examines the history and cultures of migrants from the Philippines from 1880 to 2017. Research for this book showed that Filipinos came to Canada as early as 1880, in larger numbers a decade later and to Manitoba and the outskirts of Winnipeg by 1912 (Marshall 2018, 17, 219 footnote 64). Legislation enacted in 1910 and again in 1930 restricts Asian and Filipino migration to Canada until 1956. This is the reason why most Canadian Filipino communities form in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Marshall 2018, 62-63).

Marshall’s recent research explores the topic of religion and migration in The Handbook of Religion and Migration with lead author Rubina Ramji of Cape Breton University https://www.brandonu.ca/research-connection/article/handbook-of-religion-and-migration/.  Marshall is working on a new book on religious experience to be published in 2024.

During Marshall’s 22 years of research and through multiple national and international SSHRC, CCK, Heritage Canada, and other externally funded projects as principal investigator at BU, she has trained, supervised and provided employment to dozens of research assistants. Dr. Marshall has also worked as a cultural consultant for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios on the film Turning Red.