Prof. Neloufer de Mel

Contact details   : Department of English, University of Colombo, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka. Tel:  (+94) 011250438, Fax: (+94) 11 2500438

Qualifications : Ph.D in English, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, MA University of Peradeniya, BA (English Hons), University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Teaching areas : Cultural, Postcolonial, Gender, Performance and Film Studies

Research interests : The politics of narrative and representation in literary, performance and visual culture; masculinities and feminist theory; gender and nationalism; cultural citizenship; cultural approaches to the law and justice; militarization; contemporary Sri Lankan theatre

Awards and grants :

- Swiss National Science Foundation Visiting Fellowship to University of Zurich (2014);

- MacMillan Center, Yale University Fellowship on Women, Religion and Globalization (2009);

- Fulbright Visiting Fellowship at Yale University, U.S.A. (2006);

- John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation research grant (1999-2001)

Involvement with other organizations :

Member, Social Scientists’ Association;Women and Media Collective; International Center for Ethnic Studies

Executive and other positions on boards of international, national organizations

- Member, Board of Study, Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET), Sri Lanka;

- Trustee, Gratiaen Trust;

- Member of the Board of Management of The Postgraduate Institute of English, Open University, Sri Lanka; and Social Policy Analysis and Research Center (SPARC), University of Colombo

Editorial work

Review Editor, Journal of Women’s History (Johns Hopkins University); Studies on Contemporary South Asia (Palgrave MacMillan); Nivedini (Women’s Education Research Center)


- 2007:Militarizing Sri Lanka: Popular Culture, Memory and Narrative in the Sri Lankan Armed Conflict, Los Angeles, London, Delhi, Singapore, Sage

- 2001: Women and the Nation’s Narrative: Gender and Nationalism in 20th Century Sri Lanka, New Delhi, Kali for Women & Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield

Edited Volumes:

- 2012: (Co-editor with JayadevaUyangoda), Re-framing Democracy: Perspectives on Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association

- 2009: (Principal Editor) After the Waves: The Impact of the Tsunami on Women in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association

- 2007: (Principal Editor) At the Cutting Edge: Essays in Honour of KumariJayawardena, New Delhi, Women Unlimited

Book Chapters:

- 2014: ‘Female Militancy and the Wars on Terror: Revisiting Feminist Interventions from South Asia,’ in Alex Houen (ed.) States at War and States of War, London: Routledge, pp.67-83

- 2012: ‘Borders, Brokers and the State Effect: State-Social Relations in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone,’ in JayadevaUyangoda and Neloufer de Mel (eds.) Re-framingDemocracy: Perspectives on Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, pp. 201-246

- 2012: ‘Post-Tsunami Resettlements: State-Gender Relations in Batticoloa,’ in JayadevaUyangoda and Neloufer de Mel (eds.) Re-framing Democracy: Perspectives on Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, pp. 320-350

- 2012: (Principal Author), de Mel, N, Samuel, K., &Soysa, C.K. ‘Ethno-political Conflict in Sri Lanka: Trajectories and Transformations,’ in Dan Landis & Rosita Albert (eds.) Handbook of Ethno-Political Conflict, New York, Springer, pp.93 – 118

- 2012: ‘Citizenship and Post-War Order: Notes on Sri Lanka,’ in BarbroWijma, Alp Bircik&UlricaEngdahl (eds.) Getting Rid of Violence: Transdisciplinary, Transnational and Transformatve Feminist Dialogues on Embodiment, Emotions and Ethics, Linkoping, GEXcel, pp.177-188

- 2005: ‘Sri Lanka: Mother Politics and Women’s Politics,’ in Baksh, Etchart, Onubogu, Johnson (eds.),Gender Mainstreaming in Conflict Transformation, London, Commonwealth Secretariat, pp. 191-204

Refereed Journal Articles:

- 2009: ‘Gendering the New Security Paradigm in Sri Lanka,’ International Development Studies Bulletin 40 no. 2, London, Routledge, pp. 36-43

- 2008: ‘Prohibited Desires: The Military-Apparel Nexus and its Politics of Sexuality in the Sinhala Language Cinema,’ Asian Cinema Vol. 19 no. 2, pp.46-60

- 2007: ‘Between the War and the Sea: Critical Events, Contiguities and Feminist Domains,’

- Intervention: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 9 no. 2, London, Francis & Taylor, pp. 238-254

Conference papers     

- 2014: ‘Timely Justice: Reparations in Postwar Sri Lanka,’ at ‘Rights, Reform and Politics in Sri Lanka’ conference, University of Zurich (Irchel), Switzerland

- 2013: ‘Borders and Brokers: Garment Factories in Post-War Sri Lanka,’ at ‘Traveling Norms and the Politics of Contention’ conference, University of Zurich, Switzerland

- 2013: ‘The Life of the Death Certificate: The Law, Documental Regimes, and Gendering Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka,’ at the Critical Legal Studies Conference, Queens University, Belfast, UK

- 2013: ‘States of War in the Postcolony: Feminist Readings and Transitions,’ at ‘The Postcolonial in Transition’ conference, Sri Lanka Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Colombo

- 2011: ‘Post-War Order and Citizenship in Sri Lanka: Notes on a Politics of Transition,’ at ‘Aftershocks: Legacies of Conflict’ conference, University of Texas School of Law & Bernard and AudreRapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, U.S.A.

- 2011: ‘Post-War Settlements: Locating Cultural Interventions in Sri Lanka,’ South Asia Institute, University of Texas, Austin, U.S.A.

- 2010: ‘Re-framing Comparativism for Post-War Sri Lanka,’ at the South Asia Studies Feminist Pre-Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

- 2010: ‘Citizenship and Post-War Order: Cross-Currents of State, Trans/Nation, Gender and Development, Civilians and Citizenship’ at the ‘Ethnographic and Political Economy Perspectives on Civil War in South Asia’conference, Dept. of Sociology, University of Delhi, India

- 2009: ‘Citizenship and Post-War Order: Locating Women, Religion, Cross-Currents,’ at the Women,Religion, Globalization conference, Yale University, U.S.A.

Unpublished theses

- ‘Responses to History: The Re-Articulation of Postcolonial Identity in the Plays of Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott 1950-1976’ (Ph.D thesis, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK)

- ‘Trends in Original Sri Lankan Drama in English and English Theatrical Production in Sri Lanka from 1933-1983’ (MA thesis, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

Other responsibilities :

- Senior Professor, Dept. of English, University of Colombo