Sri Lanka Anthropology Field School: A Collaborative Program between Mount Royal University, Canada and Department of Anthropology USJ

The Inauguration ceremony of the Sri Lanka Anthropology Field School took place on May 15th, 2023, graced by esteemed Chief Guest Prof. Upul Subasinghe, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The ceremony also witnessed the presence of distinguished guests including Prof. Shirantha Heenkenda, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Pathmalal Manage, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Prof. Charmalie Nahallage, Head of the Department of Anthropology, Prof. Samanthi Kulathilake from Mount Royal University, Canada, and Dr. Tom Buchman, also from Mount Royal University, Canada. The event brought together faculty members from the Department of Anthropology, USJ, as well as students from both Mount Royal University and the Department of Anthropology, USJ.

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Royal University (MRU), Canada, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement in 2016, with the aim of fostering international educational and research collaboration between the two institutions. Building on this partnership, the Sri Lanka Anthropology Field School has been successfully conducted for the third time this year, following previous editions in 2018 and 2016.

This year’s field school welcomed 12 undergraduate students from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, MRU, who visited USJ for fieldwork. They were warmly hosted by the Department of Anthropology, USJ, providing them with a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of Sri Lankan culture and society. The fieldwork activities took place from May 16th to June 1st, 2023.

The rich experiences gathered during the fieldwork, combined with conceptual insights, were presented on June 2nd, 2023, in a collaborative forum involving students from both Mount Royal University and USJ. The field school encompassed the disciplines of Anthropology, Sociology, and Archaeology, guided by the expertise of Dr. Samanthi Kulathilake and Dr. Tom Buchman. The program not only facilitated cross-cultural collaboration between Sri Lankan and foreign students in the same discipline, but also provided an invaluable opportunity for Sri Lankan students to explore diverse teaching methods practiced in other parts of the world.




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