Arjuna Parakrama

Poet, Scholar, and Activist


Arjuna Parakrama, poet, scholar, and activist, has had over the last thirty years a distinguished academic career, including senior visiting fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh and the National University of Malaysia, as well as shorter teaching/research assignments in India and Nepal. He has received research grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the US Institute of Peace for studying subaltern resistance to conflict, and has worked with the UN, international foundations and INGOs, such the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, USIP and Oxfam.  He is currently Senior Professor of English and Cadre Chair, as well as Director, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He was Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo.  He is author of De-Hegemonizing Language Standards: Learning from (Post) Colonial Englishes about “English” (London: Macmillan, 1995).  He has been a member of the Keywords Project since its inception, which, after 10 years of work, has produced Keywords for Today (OUP, Sept 2018). His other scholarly work includes, Discursive Unities and the Possibility of Protest, and Social Cleaving. He is also a community activist trainer who is still learning to learn from subaltern groups about identity and plurality.