genderED would like to offer a heartfelt congratulations to Dr Harini Amarasuriya – 2019 IASH Nominated Fellow and former PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology – who was appointed as a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka this Wednesday. After obtaining her PhD at University of Edinburgh in 2010, Dr Amarasuriya returned to Sri Lanka and was a Senior Lecturer in Social Studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka, establishing herself as a respected public intellectual. She will be one of only twelve women in the 225-seat Parliament.
Dr Amarasuriya hopes to demonstrate that participation in politics is possible for women, and that women can do politics in a different way. She challenges a political culture in which women face harassment at many levels, especially cyber harassment, and thus prevents women from taking on public positions.
Dr Amarasuriya’s research interests are strongly influenced by women’s, feminist, and queer studies. Among other topics, she examines the ‘sociality of activism’ and the link between intimacy and dissent, looking at the often-overlooked role of women and everyday relationships in shaping politics.