Anne M. Blackburn

Director of the South Asia Program
Anne Blackburn


Anne M. Blackburn is a professor of South Asian studies and Buddhist studies in the Department of Asian Studies. 

She was trained to study Buddhism as an historian of religions rather than as a philologist, and to attend to the literary features and the contexts for their composition and reception while working on Buddhist texts. This combination of influences led her to an interest in Buddhist textual culture, and to combine close textual studies with an investigation of Buddhist institutional histories.

Much of her work focuses on Buddhist monastic cultures, and Buddhist participation in networks linking Sri Lanka and mainland Southeast Asia before and during colonial presence in the region. She has published dozens of articles, conference papers, and book chapters on these topics. 

She received her PhD in the history of religions from The University of Chicago Divinity School.