Neloufer de Mel is Senior Professor of English (Chair) at the Dept. of English, University of Colombo. Her teaching and research publications are in the disciplinary fields of cultural, postcolonial, gender and performance studies. She has held several distinguished research fellowships at international universities and academic institutes including Yale, the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, the Universities of Zurich, New York, Technical University Dresden, and the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, USA. She is also the Chair of the Gratiaen Trust, founded by Michael Ondaatje (a Canadian author of Sri Lankan origin), which works towards promoting Sri Lankan literature in English, and has served on many juries at national and international theatre and film festivals.
Dushyanthi Mendis is a Professor in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches courses on studies in sociolinguistics, discourse and genre, and language policy and planning. Her research interests include the broad fields of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, academic English and Sri Lankan English(es). Her favoured approaches to the study of language are genre analysis and corpus linguistics.
Neluka Silva is a Senior Professor in English at the University of Colombo. Her teaching and research interests are in Postcolonial and Cultural studies, Television and Media Studies, and Bilingualism. She also holds a Diploma in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, University of Uppsala and a Certificate in Coaching, University of Cambridge. Her novel The Iron Fence (2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize and was longlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize 2012 and the Dublin IMPAC prize 2012. In addition, Our Neighbours and other stories (2009) is published by Vijitha Yapa Publications. “Our Neighbours” was placed in the Highly Commended Winner category in the 2008 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.
Shermal Wijewardena is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches Shakespeare Studies, Chaucer, Milton and Autobiographical Writing, incorporating queer, feminist, and postcolonial critical approaches. Her research is multidisciplinary, engaging with the intersections of technology, literature, social movements, human rights, and queer representation in law, literature and the media.
Dinithi Karunanayake is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches courses in Translation Studies, South Asian Literature and Postcolonial African Writing. Her research interests include theatre/performance, activism, social movements especially in relation to translation, literary translation, postcolonial literature and digital ethics and pedagogy.
Shravika Amarasekara is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches courses in Postcolonial Literature, Romantic Poetry, Victorian Poetry, Research Methodology, Sociolinguistics, English Across the World. Her key research interests are in the areas of English Literature, Children’s Literature, Postcolonial Studies.
Kaushalya Perera is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo where she teaches linguistics courses. Her research interests are in the areas of discourse studies, language and education policies, and Sinhala pragmatics. She is currently working on three research projects: the impact of World Bank lending on Sri Lankan universities; Sinhala pragmatics; and, children’s digital literacy.
Esther Surenthiraraj is a Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches a variety of linguistics courses employing a critical approach to language studies. Her research is interdisciplinary and her recent work focuses on memory, narrative, rhetoric and identity in postwar Sri Lanka.
Ruhanie Perera is a Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo and a performer based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a founding member of Floating Space Theatre Co., and teaches theatre and performance studies and literature. Her main areas of interests are in storytelling communities and performing lived-experience. Her most recent research contribution is a co-authored paper titled ‘Urban Spaces in Transition: Space-Claims from the Lived Experience of Women, presented at the Annual Conference of the British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS), hosted by the University of Edinburgh in 2021. Until December 2021, she worked as Curator, Education and Public Programmes at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka, launched in December 2019.
Shalini Abayasekara is a Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. Currently, she is a graduate student attached to the Department of English, Ohio State University. She has taught courses titled; Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Criticism, The Romantic Age, Writing, Reading, and Rhetoric, Rhetoric and Style, and English Across the World. Her main areas of interest are disability studies and rhetoric, composition, and literacy, and she is particularly keen on exploring the intersections between language and mental illness/health.
Lilani Dias is a Temporary Assistant Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. She teaches courses titled: Discourses in Migrant Writing and Poetry of the Victorian Era, and co- teaches Communication in Professional Genre, History of the English Language, Postcolonial African Writing and Sri Lankan English Studies. Lilani is a published poet and author. She is also a part-time editor for Queen of Sea Publishers. She is interested in cultural studies and gender studies, and is an activist for animal rights and women’s rights.
Pawan Wijesinghe is a Temporary Assistant Lecturer in English at the University of Colombo. He teaches courses titled: History of the English Language, The Romantic Age, Novel in the 18th & 19th Centuries and Thematic Approaches to the Modern Novel. His research interests are in premodern literature, body in literature, mechanical philosophy and eco-criticism.
Ruvan Weerasinghe is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Colombo School of Computing and also an Affiliated Researcher at the Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLab). His research interests are in Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Computational Linguistics including Machine Translation, and particularly in techniques employing statistical methods and machine learning using large data sets. He has also led a group of 6-8 researchers involved in Language Technology at the UCSC’s Language Technology Research Lab (LTRL) from 2004 till 2018.
Sachini K. Seneviratne is a Lecturer (on contract) and Coordinator of the MA in Teaching English (in a Second Language Context) at the Postgraduate Institute of English, Open University of Sri Lanka, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Colombo. Her teaching areas include medieval and renaissance drama, gender, film, and the novel. Her research interests are in early modern drama, Victorian literature, the history of medicine, and the body in literature.
Minoli Wijetunga is a researcher in the field of education. Her research interests span from classroom education to learning through popular culture to global politics. She was a Research Assistant with the Department of Education, University of Oxford working on justice, diversity, and inclusion. She currently works as the Project Manager at Watchdog, a multidisciplinary team of factcheckers, journalists, researchers and software engineers.
Sandani Yapa Abeywardena is a practicing Attorney-at-Law working in alternative dispute resolution, with research interests in law and language, digital law, arbitration, judicial education and integrity, gender-based violence and women and child rights. She is also a GRO-GEST Fellow focusing on International Gender Equality Studies at the University of Iceland, and a Research Assistant attached to a project on transformative justice at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies coordinated by the Gender, Justice and Security Hub of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics, UK.
Praveen Tilakaratne is a graduate student at the Department of Comparative Literature, Cornell University. His research interests are Psychoanalysis, Buddhism and Buddhist modernist thought, Marxism, postcoloniality, world literature, modernity and modernism, and South Asian studies with an emphasis on 20th century Sri Lankan literary and intellectual history.
DHLAB PROJECT STAFF
Chinthaka Senanayake is an Assistant Librarian at the Main Library of the University of Colombo. He has previously worked as a Computer Instructor at the Computer Teaching Unit, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo (2017 – 2019), and as the Research Assistant, AHEAD- DOR at the Department of English, University of Colombo (2019 – 2020). His research interests are in the areas of GIS, Education, Managmant Information Systems, and ICT for Development.
Lihini Nilaweera is a researcher working primarily on child digital literacy and digital humanities. She has worked as the Research Assistant, AHEAD-DOR at the Department of English, University of Colombo (2021 – 2022). Currently, she is a co-investigator on a children’s digital literacy project. Her research interests are in the areas of education, digital ethics, fan studies, and in creating engaging learning environments for young learners of English.
Nazeefa Musthafa is a web developer with expertise in content management systems (CMS),websites and enterprise-level web application development. She has worked as the Technical Resource Person, AHEAD-DOR at the Department of English, University of Colombo in 2022. Her research interests are in the areas of IT Research and Theory, Social Innovation, Cyberpsychology and Sociology.