Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Professor Langenberg’s expertise is in South Asian Buddhism, especially Sanskrit Buddhist literature, monastic law, and Buddhist medicine. Her research languages include Sanskrit, Pāli, and classical Tibetan. Professor Langenberg’s research focuses in particular on Buddhist ways of thinking about gender and sexuality. In pursuit of this interest, she is currently completing a book-length study of Indian Buddhist embryology and theories of birth entitled Birth and Buddhism: Fertility, the Fetus, and the Female in Indian Buddhist Texts from the Middle Period. Professor Langenberg also has strong interests in Hindu ritual and law, Buddhism across East and Southeast Asia, contemporary Buddhist feminist movements, Buddhist and Hindu modernity, Asian religions in America, and, more recently, interactions between religion and environmental attitudes in India. In addition to her expertise in Buddhist Studies, Professor Langenberg is trained in theories and methods in the study of religion. She has a particular fondness for the anthropology and aesthetics of religion, and the writings of the French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault. She is and always has been fascinated by the complex ways that people think and talk about religion in private, public, and academic settings. She is a member of the Letters Collegium, and teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies program.