An Deming is a Professor and Senior Researcher of Folklore at Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He got his Ph.D. from Beijing Normal University in 1997. His research interests are focused on popular religion (folk beliefs) among Han Chinese in northwest China, Chinese proverbs, and intellectual history of Chinese Folklore Studies. Since 1992, he has been conducting fieldwork on popular religion--especially beliefs and rituals held to avert natural disasters in farming villages, proverbs, and folk narratives in his hometown Tianshui, Gansu Province. In addition to ethnographic achievement acquired, the experiences of doing fieldwork at hometown also inspired his latest concern on the major trend lasting throughout the history of Chinese folklore studies: studying folklore at hometown. At the Harvard-Yenching Institute, he worked on a project on transformation and reconstruction of popular religion in a changing village in the Tianshui area. This project attempts to probe into the interrelationship between popular religion and the dramatic social changes in contemporary northwest China.