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Anne Blackburn


Anne M. Blackburn is Professor of South Asia Studies and Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University. She received her BA from Swarthmore College, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. 

Blackburn studies Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, with a special interest in Buddhist monastic culture and Buddhist participation in networks linking Sri Lanka, the Indian Peninsula, and mainland Southeast Asia before and during colonial presence in the region. Her publications include Buddhist Learning and Textual Practice in Eighteenth-Century Lankan Monastic Culture (Princeton, 2001), Approaching the Dhamma: Buddhist Texts and Practices in South and Southeast Asia, co-edited with Jeffrey Samuels (BPS Pariyatti Editions, 2003), and Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka (Chicago, 2010). Past research was supported by the Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities (USA), and the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS). She is working on a new project, Making Buddhist Kingdoms Across the Indian Ocean, 1200-1500, supported in part by an ACLS Fellowship, and presented part of this manuscript as the Wilde Lectures at the University of Oxford in 2016.  

In Sri Lanka, her primary site for research and international collaborations, Blackburn works closely with colleagues at the University of Peradeniya, the University of Colombo, the Social Scientists Association, and the American Institute for Lankan Studies. At the National University of Singapore, Blackburn has held appointments as Senior Visiting Research Fellow and Visiting Research Professor at the Asia Research Institute (2010, 2012, 2013).