Amarasiri De Silva, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences


R-znvy: qrFvyin.Nznenfvev@cvgg.rqh

Personal Statement

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist.  My research has focused on health and illness in Sri Lanka. My fieldwork in Sri Lanka has been conducted in coastal fishing communities, in war-affected villages in the northern districts, in poor urban communities in Colombo, and among estate workers in tea plantations. My recent work has focused on kidney disease among agricultural workers in the dry zone district of Anuradhapura.  The objective of my research and writings is to analyze the wide-ranging factors and forces that control and affect people’s health, in the context of the prevailing social, political and cultural systems.


I received my BA in Sociology at the University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka, MSc at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand, and my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. My fieldwork for my master’s degree was conducted in a coastal fishing village in the southern province of Sri Lanka, focusing on the social effects of the mechanization of the fishing industry. My doctoral research was conducted in rural villages in two districts in Sri Lanka, focusing on primary healthcare practices and people’s participation in healthcare at a time when Sri Lanka was experiencing
rural insurgency.    


I have taught research methodology, medical anthropology and applied anthropology in the Department of Sociology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, where I was a senior professor. In 2013 and 2014, I taught courses on medical sociology, aging and global health in the Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh. My current research at BCHS is focused on Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu), an emergent disease found in Sri Lanka, and in many other tropical and sub-tropical countries. 

Amarasiri  De Silva