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Vidyamali Samarasinghe

School of International Service

  • Vidyamali Samarasinghe is a Professor in the International Development Program of the School of International Service, American University, Washington D.C. Currently she is the Director of the International Development Program. Vidyamali Samarasinghe earned her BA (honors) in Geography from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and her PH.D from Cambridge University, England in Economic Geography. Her research is focused on gender in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on South Asia and South East Asia. In her publications she has focused on different aspects of female sex trafficking, women’s work in tea plantations, impact of globalization on women’s work, impact of conflict on women, women and politics and feminist methodology. Professor Samarasinghe identifies herself as a scholar and a practitioner. Her most recent publication is an academic book titled Female Sex Trafficking in Asia: Resilience of Patriarchy in a Changing World London, NY: Routledge 2007, updated and published in paperback in 2009.The book is based on field research undertaken in Nepal, Cambodia and the Philippines. She is also co-author and coeditor of several academic books. Her publications also include numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters. She is currently engaged in researching and writing a scholarly book on the Demand Dimension of Female Sex Trafficking in Asia. (Routledge) Professor Samarasinghe teaches Graduate level course on Population, Migration and Development, Field Survey Methods in International Development and graduate and undergraduate level courses on Gender and Development. She spent the 2010/2011 academic year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Sri Lanka. She was the exchange professor in the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto Japan from April 2012 to August 2012.
  • Degrees

    PhD, Cambridge University; BA, University of Ceylon

  • SIS-School of Intl Service
  • SIS - 228A

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AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Ethnicity, regional development and geography of South Asia; politics and economy of Sri Lanka; women and development in the Third World

Additional Information: Vidyamali Samarasinghe teaches and researches gender and development, population and migration issues in developing countries, social science methodology, and field survey methodology. Her regional focus of research is in South Asia. Her most recent book is Female Sex Trafficking in Asia: Resilience of Patriarchy in a Changing World (Routledge, 2008). She is coeditor of Women at the Crossroads: A Sri Lankan Perspective (Vikas, 1990) and Women at the Center: Gender and Development Issues for the 1990's (Kumarian, 1993). She is the coauthor of A Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka (Scarecrow Press, 1997). Samarasinghe has completed several field survey research projects on tea plantation women in Sri Lanka, income inequalities among farming communities, and female adolescent food-allocation patterns in Sri Lanka.

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