Anne M. Blackburn: "Monks, Silks, and Spices: Towards a History of Buddhist Mobility in the Second-Millennium Indian Ocean Region"

Date Range
Thursday November 6th 2014, 6:00PM
Building 70, Room 72A1, Main Quad
Anne M. Blackburn: "Monks, Silks, and Spices: Towards a History of Buddhist Mobility in the 2nd-millennium Indian Ocean Region"


Today it is easy to take for granted the integrated Theravadin Buddhist world comprising Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, assuming its naturalness and long history.  This paper argues for a more nuanced periodization of Buddhist ties within this Indian Ocean region, including substantial changes in the political and economic environment occurring between 1000 and 1500, which reshaped possibilities for Buddhist monastic mobility.

Speaker's Bio

Anne M. Blackburn is Professor of South Asia Studies and Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University, and Director of the Cornell University South Asia Program. She taught at the University of South Carolina before joining Cornell's faculty. 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 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 A/Prof Jeffrey Samuels (BPS Pariyatti Editions, 2003), and Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka (Chicago, 2010). She is working on a new project, Monks, Texts, and Relics: Towards a Connected History of 2nd-Millennium Buddhisms in Southern Asia. 


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