Current Issue

Facebook Icon  Twitter Icon  YouTube Icon

Research Students - Social Anthropology  

Year of start: 2011
Subject: Social Anthropology

Research Topic

Catholicism among Sri Lankan Tamils


Alex Pillen
Rebecca Empson


My project focuses on the location of Catholicism and Christianity more generally in the social life of Sri Lankan Tamils, in Sri Lanka and abroad. I am also interested in the relationship between Christian institutions and Sri Lanka’s other religions.

I also have a strong interest in Tamil and Sinhala, and run a blog on learning Tamil here.

Research interests

  • Anthropology of Sri Lanka and South Asia
  • Religion in South Asia
  • Sri Lankan diasporas
  • Tamil and Sinhala
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Beyond these topics I am interested in the study of South Asian literature as well as science fiction (whether through an anthropological lense or otherwise)

Academic Background/Education

2010: MA Social Anthropology, SOAS

2008: BA (Hons) Russian and English, Trinity College Dublin

Honours and Awards

2010: Best Overall Masters Degree in Anthropology, SOAS

2008: Greenwood Memorial Prize (for Russian literary or cultural studies), Trinity College, Dublin


2011: Soviet Science Fiction of the 1920s, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction


ESRC Studentship

Bookmark and Share

Request page update
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633