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H. Seneviratne

Professor Emeritus

E-mail:
Phone: 434-924-6820
Personal Website

Address:
PO Box 400120
Brooks Hall, 306
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4120

Research Interests

My early research interests were fashioned by three factors in the context of my growing up in Sri Lanka. First, Buddhist rituals were all around me, and I was stimulated to explore the meaning of these rituals. Second, Sri Lanka was going through radical social change. Third, Sri Lanka was groping for an identity and economic security after its recent emergence from British colonial domination. My published work reflects these contextual factors as well as my belief that the utility of traditional sociological theory is by no means exhausted.

My present work represents a critical examination of the themes and social processes arising from the kind of social context mentioned above, which is commonplace in the contemporary world. Social change, emergence from colonialism, and the search for national identity and economic security have brought out a great deal of idealism, but much more turbulence, confusion and human suffering. I believe anthropology should contribute to our understanding of these, and help minimize poverty, inequality, injustice, discrimination, violence and human rights abuses. Broadly conceived inquiry into these areas constitutes an important part of my present research interests.

Specializations Religion and politics, socialism, classical social theory, human rights, democracy and free market economy, ethno-nationalism, cinema, art and popular culture.

Courses Buddhism, Introduction to India, Religion Culture and Nation in India, Cinema in India.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Peradeniya
  • Master of Arts (MA), University of Rochester
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Rochester