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Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe


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Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe

Ph.D. Candidate - Department of Comparative Literature

Research Associate - The Poetic Media Lab, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis

2020/21 Digital Humanities Graduate Research Fellow - Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis

2020/21 d.School Creativity in Research Scholar - d.School / The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design

2020/21 Graduate Research Opportunity Award Recipient - Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences  

2020/21 Stanford Provost's Teaching Fellow - Stanford Vice Provost for Graduate Education

2019/20 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellow - Stanford Humanities Center 

Assistant Editor - Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopaedia 

Managing Editor - Stanford International Policy Review 


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. She is completing her dissertation on a Mellon Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellowship awarded by the Stanford Humanities Center. Her research and teaching interests span topics in immigration, visa law and policy, exile, digital humanities, 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. Lakmali is an Assistant Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia and a Managing Editor of the Stanford International Policy Review. She has presented her research at sixteen academic conferences to date, the last two being at Harvard University and the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. In 2021, Lakmali will be presenting at the 52nd Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), while her forthcoming publication will appear in the double-blind peer reviewed journal Law and Literature


Fellowships and Awards:

Lakmali is a Research Associate at the Poetic Media Lab, which is a Digital Humanities research and design group based at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford University. During the 2020/21 academic year, she has been awarded two fellowships and a research grant for her excellence in research and teaching. Lakmali has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship at CESTA in recognition of her innovative digital humanities scholarship. The Stanford Vice Provost for Graduate Education selected her a Stanford Provost's Teaching Fellow in recognition of Lakmali's teaching excellence, and to support professional training in online pedagogy. She has also been awarded a Graduate Research Opportunity award by the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences to support her ongoing research. In addition, Lakmali has been selected as a 2020/21 Creativity in Research Scholar (CIRS) by the Stanford d.School / the Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. 

In 2019/20 Lakmali was awarded the Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship by the Stanford Humanities Center, and the East Asia Graduate Summer Grant 2019 by the Stanford Center for East Asia Studies to complete her dissertation research.

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 four consecutive years, she was awarded fellowships by the Stanford University Center for East Asia Studies for research and advanced Korean language training 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, 2017) at the double-blind peer reviewed 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 in Film Studies.

At 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 in French 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.



Lakmali's 16-year teaching career includes teaching at Stanford University, City College of New York, University of Peradeniya, American National College, European College and the Alliance française. In 2016, Lakmali was awarded the Stanford-CCNY Teaching Fellowship, while in 2020, she was selected as a Provost's Teaching Fellow. Lakmali has taught English and French literature, comparative 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 and Co-Instructor for classes on Korean popular culture and literature, African literature, and classes intersecting medicine, human biology, law, ethics, human rights, philosophy, and global health. Lakmali 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.


Research and Editing:

In addition to teaching, Lakmali worked as a researcher and editor before coming to Stanford. 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 for 3 years. She was also the Managing Editor of Nethra Review, a New York Review-style journal published by the ICES, and the Editor of Spectrum, an English language magazine 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 the Editorial Director of Verité Research while completing her doctorate. Currently, Lakmali edits two Stanford publications: The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopaedia (General Editor: Prof. Patricia Parker; Associate Editor: Prof. Roland Greene) and the Stanford International Policy Review (Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board: Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University).



Sinhala, English, French, Korean (fluent)

Spanish, Tamil (working knowledge)


Courses taught and TA-ed at Stanford University:

  1. COMPLIT 101: What is Comparative Literature? – Fall 2014/15
  2. KORGEN 101N: Gangnam Style: Korean Media and Popular Culture – Winter 2014/15
  3. COMPLIT 145B / 345B: Africa in Atlantic Writing – Spring 2014/15 (also listed as AFRICAAM 148, AFRICAST 145B, CSRE 145B, FRENCH 145B, FRENCH 345B)
  4. COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2015/16 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)
  5. COMPLIT 223: Literature and Human Experimentation – Spring 2015/16 (also listed as AFRICAAM 223, CSRE 123B, HUMBIO 175H, MED 220)
  6. FRENLANG 1: First Year French – Fall 2015/16
  7. FRENLANG 2: First Year French – Winter 2015/16
  8. FRENLANG 3: First Year French – Spring 2015/16
  9. COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2016/17 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)
  10. COMPLIT 229: Literature and Global Health – Winter 2017/18 (also listed as AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)
  11. COMPLIT 223: Literature and Human Experimentation – Spring 2017/18 (also listed as AFRICAAM 223, CSRE 123B, HUMBIO 175H, MED 220)
  12. COMPLIT 353B: Hannah Arendt: Facing Totalitarianism – Fall 2020/2021 (also listed as GERMAN 253, GERMAN 353, JEWISHST 243A)


Facilitator of the Stanford Humanities House Workshops:

  1. Workshop on "Haruki Murakami’s Short Fiction" – Fall 2015/16
  2. Workshop on "West African Women’s Literature" – Winter 2015/16
  3. Workshop on "Chinese Literature from the 1980s" – Spring 2015/16
  4. Workshop on “The Musical” – Winter 2016/17
  5. Workshop on prog rock “From Siddhartha to Artificial Intelligence: Cultural Inspirations of Prog Rock” – Spring 2016/17
  6. Workshop on popular Korean media “Oppa Kangnam Style: Navigating Korean Cultural Dynamics Through Modern Media” – Spring 2016/17
  7. Workshop on “Judd Apatow and the Evolution of American Comedy” – Fall 2017/18
  8. Workshop on “Destructive Love” – Winter 2017/18
  9. Workshop on “The World of Worldbuilding” – Spring 2017/18
  10. Workshop on “An Analysis of Contemporary Late Night Comedy” – Fall 2018/19