Bio


Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe is a Lecturer in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education at Stanford University. Lakmali has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and has been teaching and mentoring both college and high school students since 2004. In 2016, Lakmali was awarded the Stanford-City College of New York Teaching Fellowship, while in 2020, she was selected as a Provost’s Teaching Fellow. Lakmali has taught a variety of courses in the liberal arts and the humanities intersecting literature, film, comparative literature, philosophy, literary theory, linguistics, history, global health, medicine, human biology, law, ethics, and human rights. She has also facilitated ten quarter-long workshops for the Stanford Humanities House.

Lakmali is an Assistant Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopaedia (General Editor: Prof. Patricia Parker; Associate Editor: Prof. Roland Greene), and a Senior Editor of the Stanford International Policy Review (Chair of Faculty Advisory Board: Prof. Francis Fukuyama). She is also a Research Associate at the Poetic Media Lab; a digital humanities lab at Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). During the 2021-2022 academic year, Lakmali is affiliated with the Humanities Center at the University of Rochester, New York as an Associate of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on “Unbordering Migration in the Americas: Causes, Experiences, Identities”. In 2016/17, she was a Visiting Ph.D. Scholar at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, New York.

Lakmali has won over twenty fellowships and awards during the last few years, the most recent being the 2021 Stanford Historical Society’s Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award for Excellence in the Practice of Oral History for her oral history project “In Transit: An Oral History Project on Crossing Borders”. During four consecutive years, she won awards at the Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition (double-blind and peer reviewed) organized by the Korea Translation Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. Lakmali was also the recipient of the Graduate Film Studies Academic Paper Prize awarded by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the recipient of the Fulbright MA Fellowship, the Endeavor Award (to pursue doctoral studies at the Australian National University), the Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Writing Fellowship awarded by the Stanford Humanities Center, and several fellowships and grants awarded by the Stanford Center for East Asian Studies, the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences, the Stanford Europe Center, the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, and the Stanford d.school / the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

Lakmali’s research interests include topics in immigration, visa law and policy, border surveillance, human rights, and human dignity. She works across literature, film, oral history, law, and the digital humanities using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary methods. She has presented her research at over twenty academic conferences, including multiple conferences at Harvard University, Columbia University, and Stanford University. She has also presented papers at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). In 2021, she was a recipient of the NeMLA Conference Paper Prize and was also awarded an Outstanding Conference Abstract Award at the International Graduate Student Conference organized by the East West Center, HI. Lakmali is currently working on a book based on her research on visa law and policy. An article based on this work is forthcoming in the double-blind peer-reviewed journal Law and Literature.

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Thinking Matters

Honors & Awards


  • Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award for Excellence in the Practice of Oral History, Stanford Historical Society (2021)
  • Digital Humanities Graduate Research Fellowship, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University (2020/21)
  • Graduate Research Opportunity Grant, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2020/21)
  • Stanford Provost’s Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Stanford University (2020/21)
  • d.School Creativity in Research Scholar, d.School / Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University (2020/21)
  • Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Conference Paper Prize, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) (2021)
  • Outstanding Conference Abstract Award, East West Center, HI; 20th Annual International Graduate Student Conference (2021)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University (2019/20)
  • East Asia Graduate Summer Fellowship, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (2018/19)
  • Graduate Student Grant, The Europe Center, Stanford University (2017/18)
  • First Place - Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition (double-blind peer reviewed), The Korea Translation Institute, University of California, Berkeley (2017)
  • Stanford-City College of New York Teaching Fellowship, Stanford University, City College of New York (2016/17)
  • Visiting Ph.D. Scholar, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University (2016/17)
  • First Place - Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition (double-blind peer reviewed), The Korea Translation Institute, University of California, Berkeley (2016)
  • East Asia Graduate Summer Fellowship, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (2015/16)
  • Second Place - Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition (double-blind peer reviewed), The Korea Translation Institute, University of California, Berkeley (2015)
  • Collaborative Teaching Project Grant, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University (2014/15)
  • East Asia Graduate Summer Fellowship, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (2014/15)
  • Fourth Place - Annual Korean Literature Essay Competition (double-blind peer reviewed), The Korea Translation Institute, University of California, Berkeley (2014)
  • School of Humanities and Sciences Graduate Summer Fellowship, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2013/14)
  • Fulbright Fellow (2 year MA Fellowship), The Fulbright Program, Institute of International Education (2011/13)
  • First Place - Annual Graduate Film Studies Academic Paper Prize, Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2011/12)
  • Endeavour Postgraduate Fellowship (for doctoral studies at the Australian National University), Government of Australia (2011)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Senior Editor, Stanford International Policy Review (2020 - Present)
  • Assistant Editor, Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopaedia (2020 - Present)
  • Member, Modern Language Association (MLA) (2013 - Present)
  • Member, American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) (2013 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Stanford Ignite, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2021)
  • Diplôme de Hautes Études, Alliance française, Paris, France, French Language and Literature (2006)

2021-22 Courses


All Publications