Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests span topics in immigration, visa law and policy, exile, human rights, women’s rights, media studies, animal studies, film, and design thinking. She works on 20th / 21st century literature and film in English, French, Korean and Spanish.
In 2016/17, Lakmali was a Visiting Ph.D. Scholar at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, New York. In 2010, she was recognized as the principal Fulbright Fellow from Sri Lanka to pursue a MA degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, while she was also awarded the Endeavour Fellowship to pursue doctoral studies at the Australian National University. For three consecutive years, she was awarded fellowships by the Stanford University Center for East Asia Studies for research in Seoul, South Korea (Seoul National University). She also received the Stanford Humanities and Sciences Fellowship in 2014 as well as a grant in 2017 from the Stanford Europe Center for research in Paris, France.
For four consecutive years, Lakmali won the third (2014), second (2015) and first place awards (2016 and 2017) at the Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition organized by the Korea Translation Institute and the University of California, Berkeley (a competition open to all graduate and undergraduate students attending all universities in the Bay Area). At University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Lakmali won the first place at the Annual Graduate Film Studies Academic Paper Prize for 2011/12 awarded by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies (a competition open to all graduate students affiliated with the Five College Consortium). In 2013, she was also awarded the Certificate of Accomplishment by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst for having successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Graduate Certificate Program in Film Studies.
At the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, where she graduated at the top of her class with First Class Honors in English Literature and Language, she was awarded the Leigh Smith Memorial Prize for Greatest Competence in English Literature and Language as well as the Ashley Halpé Award for Outstanding Academic Performance in English Literature and Language. Additionally, she was the recipient of the award and trophy for Greatest Competence in French Studies awarded by the Alliance française de Kandy and won the Best Student Award for two consecutive years. Lakmali also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and a Diploma in Journalism and Communication. During her time in Sri Lanka, she was the recipient of 22 national level / all-island awards related to English literature and language.
While at Columbia University as a Visiting Ph.D. Scholar, Lakmali was also a Teaching Fellow at the City College of New York where she taught French in 2016. Her 15-year teaching career also includes teaching at Stanford University, University of Peradeniya, American National College, European College and the Alliance française. She has taught English and French literature, English as a Second Language, French as a Foreign Language, TOEFL preparatory courses, linguistics, critical theory and discourse analysis. At Stanford University, in addition to teaching French at the Stanford Language Center, she has co-taught and worked as a Teaching Assistant for classes on Korean popular culture and literature, African literature, comparative literature and classes intersecting medicine, human biology, law, ethics, human rights, literature and global health. She has facilitated 10 quarter-long workshops for the Humanities House at Stanford University since 2015, of which the topics range from West African women writers to American comedy.
In addition to teaching, Lakmali worked as a researcher and editor. She was a Research Assistant for the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Sri Lanka. She was also the Managing Editor of Nethra Review, a newly launched New York Review style publication by the ICES, and the Editor of Spectrum, a national English-language magazine in Sri Lanka published by Nexus Research. In 2010 and 2011, Lakmali joined an initiative to found Verité Research, which is now Sri Lanka’s leading Think Tank. Lakmali continues to be Verité Research’s Editorial Director while completing her doctorate.
Sinhala, English, French, Korean (fluent)
Spanish, Tamil (working knowledge)
Courses taught at Stanford University:
French Language Instructor
FRENLANG 1 – Fall 2015/16
FRENLANG 2 – Winter 2015/16
FRENLANG 3 – Spring 2015/16
Collaborative Teaching Project
COMPLIT 101: What is Comparative Literature? – Fall 2014/15
- KORGEN 101N: Kangnam Style; Korean Media and Popular Culture – Winter 2014/15
- COMPLIT 145B / 345B: Africa in Atlantic Writing – Spring 2014/15 (also listed as AFRICAAM 148, AFRICAST 145B, CSRE 145B, FRENCH 145B, FRENCH 345B)
- COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2015/16 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234 )
- COMPLIT 223: Literature and Human Experimentation – Spring 2015/16 (also listed as AFRICAAM 223, CSRE 123B, HUMBIO 175H, MED 220)
- COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2016/17 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)
- COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2017/18 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)
- COMPLIT 223: Literature and Human Experimentation – Spring 2017/18 (also listed as AFRICAAM 223, CSRE 123B, HUMBIO 175H, MED 220)