Pathmanesan Sanmugeswaran (Sri Lanka)
PhD in Anthropology
Pathman is from Jaffna, Sri Lanka and holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Jaffna, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Madras in India, an MA in Anthropology from UK, a graduate certificate in Social Theory from UK, and an international certificate in Applied Anthropology from the University of Rome. He began the PhD program at UK in 2014 and enjoyed teaching and TA'ing every semester that he was on campus, serving as primary instructor for ANT 160 - Cultural Diversity in the Modern World and ANT 220 - Cultural Anthropology.
Published in May 2020, Pathman's dissertation is entitled "Village-Temple Consciousness in Two Jaffna Tamil Villages in Post-War Sri Lanka." He received a National Science Foundation grant to complete his fieldwork. A member of the faculty at the Open University of Sri Lanka, Pathman resumes his duties in Colombo in Fall 2020. He described UK's international orientation as helpful and the community at UK supportive.
"I would recommend that new students keep in touch with the International Center," he said. "There are a lot of volunteers and networks they can connect you with. Keep in touch with the Graduate School website as they post opportunities, workshops, fellowships, and scholarships. And utilize UK resources to the maximum - like the Writing Center, the Library, workshops by CELT (Center for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching)."
Pathman's areas of interest include the anthropology of relgion, multireligiousity, place-making, memory, ethnicity, identity, caste, diaspora, transnationalism, displacement and migration. He chose to apply to UK because he read Dr. Mark Whitaker's Amiable Incoherence: Manipulating Histories and Modernities in a Batticaloa Hindu Temple (1998) and knew he wanted to work with Professor Whitaker.
Among the highlights of Pathman's time at UK were the birth of his daughter, now aged five, and receiving the 2017 Margaret Lantis Award for Excellence in Original Research by a Graduate Student from UK's Department of Anthropology. He also received the Dean's Competitive Graduate Fellowship in Spring 2018.