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Sasanka Perera
Sasanka Perera
Department of Sociology
South Asian University,
Akbar Bhawan,Chankyapuri
New Delhi -110021
Phone: +91 11 24671741

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Sasanka Perera teaches sociology at South Asian University, and is a founding faculty member of the university’s Department of Sociology. He has been the Chairman of the Department of Sociology (2011-2014), the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (2011-2018) and the University’s Vice President (2016-2019). Prior to that, he was with the Department of Sociology at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka for twenty years. He was also the Founding Chairman of the Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture (2003-2010).  He is the Editor of Society and Culture in South Asia (the journal of Department of Sociology, South Asian University, co-published with Sage India).   Having been trained as a cultural anthropologist, in his teaching career, he has straddled the subject areas that are considered both Sociology and Anthropology in the general parlance, despite the debates that surround these nomenclature and disciplinary divides. In that sense, he has been able to cross boundaries and draw from developments in these disciplines quite liberally in both his own intellectual pursuits and in his endeavours to teach and guide students.His research interests have enabled him to work in Sri Lanka, USA, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nepal, Japan and India. He has written extensively and published in Sri Lanka, India and internationally in the English and Sinhala languages.   An interest in photography, poetry, blogging, art, music and journalism has kept him in touch with both his own creative drives as well as the changing world of thought and expression.


  • PhD in Social Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara , in 1991
  • M.A. in Social Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara , in 1989
  • CPhil in Social Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara , in 1989

Recent Publications

  • Intersections of Contemporary Art, Anthropology and Art History in South Asia: Decoding Visual Worlds. Edited With Dev Nath Pathak (2019, New York: Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Sociology and Social Anthropology in South Asia: Histories and Practices. Edited with Ravi Kumar and Dev Nath Pathak (2018, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan)
  • ‘Space as Political Text’ (2018, Econmic and Political Weely, Vol. 53, Issue No. 50, 22 Dec)
  • සංස්කෘතිය හා දැනුම පිළිබඳ දේශපාලනය - වෙළුම් 1 හා 2. (2017, කොලොඹ: තීර්ථ)
  • Culture and Politics in South Asia Performative Communication. Edited with Dev Nath Pathak (2017, London and New Delhi: Routledge)
  • Warzone Tourism in Sri Lanka: Tales from Darker Places in Paradise (2016, New Delhi: Sage)
  • Violence and the Burden of Memory: Remembrance and Erasure in Sinhala Consciousness (2015, Delhi: Orient BlackSwan)
  • Patitha Sinhala – English and English – Sinhala Glossary for Cultural Studies (Co-edited with Harindra Dassanayake). (2006, Colombo: Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture)

Research Interests

  • Visuality, visual cultures and ways of seeing
  • Politics of education
  • Political violence, ethnicity and nationalism
  • South Asia as framework for pedagogy, research and theory

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