Ph.D. in History of Religions received in 1996 from The University of Chicago Divinity School. M.A. in Religious
Studies received in 1990 from The University of Chicago Divinity School. B.A. in Asian History & Religion (Special
Major) received in 1988 from Swarthmore College. Teachers include: Steven Collins, Charles Hallisey, Frank Reynolds,
P.B. Meegaskumbura, and Donald Swearer.
I was trained to study Buddhism as an historian of religions (in a program greatly influenced by historical sociology and hermeneutics) rather than as a philologist. My secondary supervisor worked in Buddhist Studies and South Asian Studies and was (unusually for the field at that time) insistent that scholars working on Buddhist texts attend to their literary features, and the contexts for their composition and reception. This combination of influences led me to an interest in Buddhist textual culture, and to combine close textual studies with an investigation of Buddhist institutional histories (an interest dating to my undergraduate days at Swarthmore College). Much of my 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.
"Lineage, Inheritance, and Belonging: Expressions of Monastic Affiliation from Lanka." In How Theravada is the Theravada?, ed. Peter Skilling, Jason Carbine, Claudio Cicuzza, and Santi Pakdeekham. (Silkworm Books, 2012).
"'Buddhist Revival' and the 'Work of Culture' in 19th-Century Lanka." In The Anthropologist and the Native: Essays for Gananath Obeyesekere, ed. H.L. Seneviratne. (Societa Editrice Fiorentina-Manohar, 2009).
"Writing Histories from Landscape and Architecture: Sukhothai and Chiang Mai." Buddhist Studies Review 24:2 (2007): 192-225.