Professor Kate Crosby

MA DPhil Oxf
Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies and Professorial Fellow

Academic subject(s):


After reading Sanskrit with Pali at St Hugh’s College, Oxford (19861989), Kate Crosby took up the Michael Foster Memorial Scholarship at the University of Hamburg and a Commonwealth Scholarship at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, also completing periods of traditional Sanskrit study in Pune and Varanasi. She returned to Oxford to complete her DPhil on medieval Sri Lankan Pali literature (1999). She combines textual research on Sanskrit, Pali and Pali-vernacular literature with fieldwork in mainland Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. In addition to editions and translations, her publications cover the history, ethics and practices of Theravada Buddhism. Recent areas of research include how political context shape Buddhist monasticism, Buddhist responses to colonialism and pre-modern meditation, in particular its relationship to the mathematics, grammar, obstetrics and chemistry of its day. She has taught widely on the religions, history and literature of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asian mainland, with appointments between 1994 and 2022 at the universities of Edinburgh, Lancaster, Cardiff, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and King’s College, London as well as visiting posts in Cambodia, Canada, Taiwan and Korea. At Oxford, she holds the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies, teaching Buddhist Studies, Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit.