Themes

The following ten themes have been identified as potential research pursuits by the Centre. It does not exclude other areas of Asian research; hence some thoughtful suggestions are welcome in order to enhance the scope of the Centre. All research themes are considered equally important, but some areas might be given more priority due to certain  logistical reasons.

Asian Archives: The Centre considered that the collection and study of palm leaf manuscripts and other endangered documents related to Asian history and culture should be encouraged. Therefore, a research project dealing with historical manuscripts, drawings, maps and photographs of Sri Lanka will be formulated.

Asian languages and literature: Studies on oriental languages such as Sinhala, Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit are incorporated within the research plan. Influence of the Ramayana and other epic traditions to Sri Lankan society and studies on Jatakastories in other Asian contexts will also be investigated.

Asian Religions: Buddhist studies will be given priority as the University has a great tradition in this regard. Other religious studies can also be incorporated.

Asian History and Heritage: Research on South Asian Archaeology will be given foremost priority. Asian hydraulic civilization, Chronicles and historical traditions, Indian Ocean trade, South Asian influence in Southeast Asia, Urbanization and State formation, Pre-modern Asia, religious revivalism and National movement will also be investigated.

Asia and the WestEncounter with Western colonial powers will be investigated mainly through Asian sources and the Asian point of view. The study of our Industrial heritage, changes to the landscape, new townscapes and architecture with Western influence will be encouraged. A survey of tombs and monuments in burial grounds of pre–independent Sri Lanka is one of the major pursuits of the Centre.

Asian Migrants: Studies on the migration of South Indian workers to the estate sector of Sri Lanka will be conducted. The culture and history of Asian communities in Sri Lanka such as Malays, Chinese and Indians will also be surveyed. Studies on Sri Lankan migrants living in other Asian countries and the Asian Diaspora in the West are encouraged.

Traditional Asia: Aspects of traditional Asian sciences, technologies and knowledge will be investigated. Asian hunter-gatherers with special reference to the Veddas of Sri Lanka, Ayurveda medicine, slash and burn cultivation, pack-animal transportation, traditional sea faring and methods of fishing, rituals and ceremonies, marriage customs, Folk-lore and other aspects of island's ethnology will be incorporated.

Asian Environment: Research on various aspects of Asian environment are encouraged. Sea level changes, environmental change, tsunami and other natural hazards, tropical mountains are some of the prioritized areas under this theme.

Asian Art: Contemporary art and literature, drama and theatre, visual art and other creative work will be patronized. Cultural shows, exhibitions, workshops and similar activities are encouraged.

Contemporary Asia: Studies on economy, politics and society of contemporary Asia are covered under this theme. Research on bilateral relations, trade and cultural agreements, Regional corporation, mitigating terrorism and peace building efforts is also encouraged.

Contacts

Postal : Centre for Asian Studies, University of Kelaniya

Tel : +9411 2903906 / +9471 8392296

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