Prof. Premakumara De Silva delivered the Keynote Speech in the seminar on Festival Culture of Persia and Sri Lanka on 05th of April, 2017 at MIU, Sri Lanka.
Professor Premakumara De Silva received his B.A. (Hones.) and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Colombo and MSc and PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has won several prestige international fellowships including British Academy, American Academy of Religion, Sir Radcliffe-Brown and Sir Remond Firth Fellowship of Royal Anthropological Institute in UK, Award of Commonwealth Countries of University of Edinburgh (Sir Ernest Cassel Award), Overseas Research Student (ORS) award by Committee of UK Vice-chancellors and Wenner – Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in New York.
He was the first Deputy Vice Chancellor, and former Head of Sociology Department and the Senior Student Counsellor of University of Colombo. Prof. de Silva was the president of Sociological Association of Sri Lanka (SASL) 2007-2009, and the Honorary Council member of Social Scientist Association of Sri Lanka (SSA). His research interests include political use of religion and ritual, nationalism, local democracy, youth culture, Indigenous study, grass-root development, Social Welfare and globalization.
Prof. de Silva has won several international competitive research grants most recently Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for the collaborative research project title ‘Religious Innovation and Social Reform in Sri Lanka’ (2015-2017). In last year, Prof. de Silva won the best researcher award at the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo. He has published nine books, number of book chapters and over forty articles on his credit. Its include books on ‘Globalization and the Transformation of Planetary Rituals in Southern Sri Lanka (2000) Colombo: ICES Publication, ‘Second Tsunami’: Lost of co-existence among Tsunami Affected Communities in Southern Sri Lanka. Colombo: SSA publication (2009), His most recent article (2016) “Anthropological Studies on South Asian Pilgrimage: Case of Buddhist Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka” In International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Vol.4. No.1. Few days back he published an edited volume namely ‘Modernity, Post-modernity and Neo-sociological theories’ (2017).
Prof. de Silva has been serving as a member of editorial panels of number of international reputed journals and he is the founder of Sociology Department Journal ‘Samaja Vigraha (Social Analysis). He also delivered number of invited guest lectures at reputed universities including Edinburgh, Durham, Sussex, Harvard, Cornell, Virginia and Missouri. With the invitation of Jaffana University, this year prestigious Sir Ponnambalm Ramanathan memorial oration was delivered by him. In 2016, an Honorary Professorship has been awarded to Prof. de Silva by Deakin University in Australia to recognize his contribution to the field of Sociology and Anthropology.