Professor Asoka de Zoysa
Professor Asoka de Zoysa


Department of Modern Languages
(Room Number) K16 402
Department of Modern Languages
University of Kelaniya
Sri Lanka

Tel:   (Office) +94-11-2-903721 / (Extension) 722

Educational Qualification:

  • 1992 Magister Arteum (M A) awarded by the Freie Universität Berlin, with Magna Cum Laude (First Class)

  • Master’s Degree in Indology (Sanskrit and Art History of India) and Germanistics (German Culture and Literature) at the Freie Universität Berlin engaged in a philological analyses of Kalidasas Sanskrit plays and Court poetry into translated into German by Friedrich Rückert.

  • Subjects offered: Medieval and Modern German Literature, Sanskrit (Epics and Ornate Poetry) and Pali literature – Concentrating on Pali literature in Sri Lanka. Art history specializing in Indian Art (Hindu and Moghul) and Thai, Burmese, Khmer, Tibetan and Nepalese Art (Hindu and Buddhist).

  • 1996 Doctor der Philosophie (PhD) awarded by the Freie Universität Berlin , with Magna Cum Laude (First class).

  • Doctoral Dissertation submitted deals with India as seen in the German theater in the times of Goethe.

  • Interdisciplinary research: Literature, Theatre, Art, Dance and Performance. Buddhist Studies, Culinary Ethnology and Cultural Studies

  • 2000 “Deutschlehrer-Diplom” (German Teachers Diploma) by the Goethe Institute Munich.

  • Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.

    Teaching Experience:

  • Promoted as Professor of German Studies – Date of Promotion

  • Promoted as Senior Lecturer GR II – Date of Promotion - 1. 7. 2002.

  • Visiting lecturer/Resource Person at the University of Visual and Performing Arts in General Degree Program. Art History - Units VAHT 43022, 43032, 43952, 43042 of the Academic year 2008/2009, General Degree Program Unit CCO 31 in the years 2000-2002. (Institute of  Aesthetic Studies)

  • Preparing syllabuses and writing the Teacher’s Instrucion Manual (TIM) for German for National Institute of Education (A Level and O Level)

  • Preparing syllabuses for Rajarata Uniuversity Moderating and marking papers for Sabaragamuwa University

  • Teaching and evaluating German language teaching at all grades from 1997 as Visiting lecturer/Resource Person at Goethe Institute Colombo

  • Academy of Design, Colombo (Visiting lecturer/Resource Person): Preparing curricula, lecturing and evaluating components “Historical and contextual Referencing” and “Critical Studies” of the Higher national Diploma, Degree program in Design awarded by the Northumbria University, London.

Professional Experience:

  • Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture Director.

  • Museum für Indische Kunst (Museum of Indian Art) Berlin, Germany: Free lance lecturer, organizing exhibitions, initiating workshops for students, and curating permanent display. (1993-1996)

  • Indien Festspiele (Festival of India) organized by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) Berlin 1992, German. Coordination and Public relations at the Exhibition “Palast der Götter” held from 7th March 1992 to 28th June 1992 in Berlin Brockhaus Encyclopedia: Contribution: articles on Indian Art. Walkers Tours: Tour Representative 1977- 1983.

Research and Publications:

  • Refereed Journals:

  • “Solosmasthanavandana” – Samsthithi. Prof. Chandrasiri Palliyaguru Felicitation volume. S. Gosdage. Colombo 2009 p. 391-431
  • “Rhetorics of Power” – Kalyani 2009 (Manuscript attached) (Letter from Chief Editor Kalyani dated 27.11.2009
  • “Hitahonda Ammandi” (Interpreting The Good Woman of Setzuan) Karaliya. Theatre and Performing Arts Unit, University of Kelaniya 2008 p. 170-178
  • Conceptual Art - Made in Kelaniya. Journal of the Faculty of Humanities 2008 p. 45-54
  • “Malavunge Prakaraya” (Wall of Death) – Vibhavi. Visual Arts Bulletin. Publication of the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts. Sept 2006 p. 13-20
  • “Grahanayen midī, glihī, bindī gos” (Literature that was subdued and separated),Journal of the Faculty of Humanities 2002 / 2005 p. 297-322
Papers published in abstract form :
  • “Mädawala Viharaya Revisited” – National Conference of Humanities, University of Kelaniya. 25th August 2008
  • Propaganda Posters of Fascist Germany, Spain, Italy and the Soviet Union- International Conference on Social Sciences (ICSSL), Sri lanka. 18th to 20th July 2008
  • “Indien durch die Butzenscheibe” (India through the coloured glass pane). International Research Forum, held by the University of Heidelberg 24. -26. 10 1991
  • “The portrayal of the conflict in Sri lankan Media” at the International Conference held at the University of Passau. 14-15th December 2008

          Unpublished papers:

  • “Rhetorics of Power". Propaganda Posters of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy an Kommunist Soviet Union at the Ist International Conference of Social Sciences organize by the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya 2008
  • Political Uses of Religion. International Conference organized by the University of Passau 24th to 28 June 2007
  • “Women in Art – from the maritime temples of Sri lanka” – Women Artist’s Colloquium Organized by Theertha Artists Collective. January 2006
  • „Curriculare Überlegungen im Tourismus“ (Curriculum development in Tourism) „Regionalfortbildung DaF“ . (Regional Conference in DaF) organized by Goethe Institut Bangkok 13th to 24th March 2006.
  • „Durch den Dschungel der Orientalismen“ (Through the Jungle of Orientalisms) Paper read at Germanists Conference of the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) held in Delhi 18-19 Oct 2006
  • “Sri Lankan men’s experiences in marriage proposals”- Joint presentation with Matthew Tyne. A travelling seminar “Exploring Masculinities” held on 20-22 October 2005 at the University of Colombo and International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo
  • “Youth Theatre in Sri Lanka” – International Youth Conference Colombo 25th to 30th Oct 2004 at the Colombo Plaza- Organized by Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and German Technical Corporation (GTZ)

            International Publications:

  • „Blutrünnstige Brahmine am heiligen Strome “. Indienbilder in der deutschen Unterhaltungsliteratur zwischen Aufklärung und Restauration. (GERMAN TEXT) Peter Lang. Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Wien. 1997
  • “Reading images and interpreting context: Differentiating between Iconography and Iconology according to Erwin Panofsky’s three phase analysis.”In "Art, Myths and Visual Culture of South Asia" . Published by the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Warsaw University. Edited by Piotr Balcerowicz, Professor of South Asian studies at the University of Warsaw in collaboration with Jerzy Malinowski, president of the Polish Institute of World Art Studies, professor of history of Art and Head of the Departments of History of Modern and Oriental Art at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

            Functions in the Editorial Board for publications:

  • The Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture
  1. Pathita: English- Sinhala, Sinhala-English Glossary. Colombo 2006
  2. Pathita: Samāja Saṃkrutika Samīkhā: Vol 3 Colombo 2005
  3. Pathita: Samāja Saṃkrutika Samīkhā: Vol 1 Colombo 2004

d.Pathita: Samāja Saṃkrutika Samīkhā: Vol 2 Colombo 2003

            Text Books:

  • An Anthology of Modern German Prose. Compiled for A level Students. Published by National Institute of Education (NIE).
  • Kulturbeutel. Eine interkulturelle Begegnung. (Text Book for teaching German in Tourism) Colombo 2008.
  • Woyzeck. Translation of Georg Büchner’s Drama into Sinhala.Colombo 2003.Submitted to script competition State Drama Festival 2004.


  • “Ayā dän TV eke”. Translation of Lutz Hübners Drama “Creeps” into Sinhala.
  • “Josph saha Maria”. Translation of Peter Turrini’s Drama “Josef und Maria” into Sinhala.
  • “Oya hari asvābhāvikayi”. Translation of Franz Xaver Kroetz Drama “Der Dranng” into Sinhala.
  • “Deviyan samaga räyak”. Translation of Bertolt Brecht’s Drama “Der Gute Mensch von Szeuan” into Sinhala.
  • “Antima kamatta”. Translation of Sibylle Berg’s Drama “Herr Mautz” into Sinhala.
  • “Ginidenno Ginideti”. Translation of Max Frisch’s Drama “Biedermann und die Brandstifter” into Sinhala.
  • “Kodevake Viplavaya” Translation of Aimé Césaire’s Drama “ Une Tempte” into Sinhala

Professional Qualifications:

  • Key Note Addresses in Sri Lanka:

  • “Covering the Female Body”: Transition seen in Buddhist murals from 18th to 20th century (A Lecture in English) The 38th lecture of the National Trust, Sri Lanka at 6.30 pm on March 29 2012 at the HNB auditorium, 22nd Floor HNB, Colombo 10.
  • “The Governor’s Mansion”: (Guided Tour in English) through Mount Lavinia Hotel at the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) November 13 and 14th 2010.
  • “Fashion in Film and Fashionable Stars” (A Lecture in English with Video clips) at the Sri lanka Design Festival 2009 on 9th August 2009 at Alliance Française, No 11, Barnes Place, Colombo 07
  • Introduction and Moderation of the program “Tribute to the masters”. (A Lecture in English) A Program of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. At the Goethe Institute Colombo and Dutch Reformed Church Galle. 20th and 22nd August 2009.
  • Keynote address at the Launch of “Militarizing Sri Lanka” by Neloufer de Mel (A Lecture in English). At the Social Scientists Association on 18th December 2007
  • Remembering Thomas Mann. Moderation and readings of Thomas Mann ( Three lectures and readings in English) Organized by the Goethe Institut Colombo. 7th, 8th and 9th November 2005.
  • “Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck- A reading according to Faucault. (A Lecture in English) To Commemorate the 20th Death Anniversary of the French Philosopher Michel Foucault. Organized by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) Colombo at the ICES Auditorium on 26th October 2004“West-Eastern Divan” Edward Said and his Music. (A Lecture in English) Remembering Edward W. Said. Organized by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) , Colombo. At the ICES Auditorium on 30th October 2003.

    Public lecturers held in Germany in German:

  • „Tempelmalerei aus der Zeit der letzten Könige Sri Lankas“ (Murals from the temples in at time of the last kings of Kandy) with Marion Hartmann (Lecture in German) at the Sri lanka Association Berlin e. V on 25th May 2011 at the Pallast –Pallasstr. 35, 10781 Berlin – Schöneberg.
  • “Das Leben Buddhas dargestellt in der Kunst”(The Life of the Buddha as seen in Art) .(Lecture in German). Wesakh Celebrations, organized by the Buddhistisches Haus, Frohnau, Berlin on 29th May 1998.
  • „Heilige Berge und Wallfahrtsorte auf Sri Lanka “ (Aspects of Pilgrimage to holy mountains) (Lecture in German)at the Exhibition „In der Welt der Masken“ on 20th June 1996 held at the Ethnological Museum, Leipzig. Germany.
  • „Nymphen, Kobolde und nützliche Ungeheuer in der Templemalerei in Sri Lanka“ (Aspects of Temple Paintings in Sri Lanka) (Lecture in German) at the Exhibition „In der Welt der Masken“ 19th June 1996 held at the Ethnological Museum, Leipzig. Germany.
  • Vortrag .( Lecture in German). Wesakh Celebrations, organized by the Buddhistisches Haus, Frohnau, Berlin on 14th May 1995.
  • “Der Buddhismus auf der Löweninsel Sri lanka” (Buddhism in Sri lanka) .(Lecture in German). Organzied by the Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft Berlin at the Völkerkunde Museum in Berlin, Germany, on 6th March 1995.
  • “Von heiteren Pilgerfahrten zu heiligsten Stätten in Sri Lanka“. (Pilgrimages to places of worship in Sri Lanka) . (Lecture in German) at the Ethnological Museum, Leipzig. Germany. 11th May 1995.
  • “Das Rad der Buddha-Lehre auf See und Karawanenwegen” (The Dharma chakra on the see route and Silk Route) .(Lecture in German). Organized by the Grassi Museum, Leipzig Germany on 4th December 1994.“Die Begegnung in Mihintale” (The encounter in Mihintale) (Lecture in German). Poson Celebrations, organized by the Buddhistisches Haus, Frohnau, Berlin on 21st June 1992
  • Sangita Yārā: Eine musikalische Reise in die Vergangenheit Sri Lankas.(Lecture in German). (A musical Journey to Sri Lankan past ). Organized by the Students Association in Berlin at Theatersall, Schlachtensee. Berlin Germany. 28th October 1989
  • Public Lecturers in Sri Lanka in Sinhala:
  • Full Scholarships granted for PhD and German Teacher’s Diploma :
  • Deutschlehrer-Diplom (Phase I) 2. 11. 1998 to 3. 3. 1999 in Pune, India. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany Three months.
  • Deutschlehrer-Diplom (Phase II) 3. 9. 2000 to 25.11. 2000 in Munich Germany. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany Three months (At the completion of these two phases was awarded the “Deutschlehrer-Diplom” by the Goethe Institute Munich 2000)
  • Creative work in Literature/ Theatre:

  • Another Tempest
  • “War Reporter” – Translation of the German Play “Kriegsberichtersttaterin” by Theresia Walzer into English for the production by Floating Space Theatre Company. Directed by Ruhanie Perera and Jake Oorloff at the Goethe Institute. March 2010
  • The Following functions in the production of Bertolt Brecht’s drama.
    1. “Suranganak Bandu Puranganak” (The Good Women of Setzuan) by Bertolt Brecht at the John de Silva Theatre with the University of Visual and Performing Arts, in assisting the German Director Matthias Gehrt (Berlin) 2006
    2. Convening with the German director Mr. Matthias Gehrt (Berlin), to prepare the edited “Stage Version” of the original script.
    3. Conducting worships and directing rehearsals of the play before the arrival of the director and assisting the director during all rehearsals.
    4. Coordinating with the staff of University of Visual and Performing Arts and the Academy of Design.
    5. “German Nātya Kalāwa”.(Adress in Sinhala on German Theatre) at World theatre Day. Organized by Deparment of Cultural Affairs. At the Elphiniston Theatre on 24 .3 200
  • To complete the Doctoral Thesis awarded by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Bonn Germany (1993 to 1996)
  • “Mama ipadune iye Nemeyi” – Preparation of production script and dramaturgy of Peter Turrini’s German Play “Josef und Maria”. Directed by M. Safeer (2004).
  • “Kanuraven Savandenna”. Co- Dierected the Play with M. Safeer for InterAct Theatre Company. Performed in Sudharshi Colombo and other venues (2002-2003)
  • Three Month Drama Workshop for InterAct Theatre at the Goethe Institute Colombo leading to the production of “Woyzeck” “Yudhapitiyen Pamini Ranaviruwek” March- June (2003).
  • “Nathan the Wise” A message of Acceptance and Tolerance. Edited the English Translation for the performance Celebrating 50 years of Diplomatic Relations Sri Lanka – Germany. Edited and Directed Gotthold Ephraim Lessings play. Barefoot Gallery Colombo 4 on 10th December 2003.
  • “Ydhapitiyen Pamini Ranaviruwek” – Woyzeck. Directed Gerog Büchner’s play for InterAct Theatre Transformation. Performed at John de Silva Memorial Theatre and Elphiniston (2003)
  • Workshops for Theatre Transformation at the Goethe Institute Colombo leading to the Production of “Creeps” (2003)
  • “Creeps”- Translation and direction of Lutz Hübner’s Play for Theatre Transformation. Performed at the Punchi Theatre.
  • “Oya dora Arinna” – Preparation of production script and dramaturgy of Franz Xaver Kroetz Drama “Der Drang” (2002)

Awards & Scholarships:

  • International Seminar: „Didactics of theatre and literature “(Theater und Literatur im Deutschunterricht) held from 13th 29th June 2008 in Berlin Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.
  • Regional Conference “German teaching for professional purposes in tourism” (Deutsch als Fachsprache im Tourismus) as a resource person. This conference was held 13th to 24th March 2006 at the Goethe Institut Bangkok, Thailand. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.
  • XIIIth International Conference for German Lecturers held 30th July- 7th August 2005 in Graz, Austria. I was the only representative from Sri Lanka at this event. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.
  • International Seminar on “Cultural Journalism” (Kulturjournalismus), which gives journalists writing of culture insight to the media landscape in Germany. The Seminar was held from 8th November to 4th December 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.
  • Regional seminar on “Holistic Language Teaching” (Dramenpädagigik) held from 19th to 29th November 2001 at the Max Müller Bhavan Calcutta, India. Awarded by Goethe Insitut, Munich Germany.
  • Research Grant for Poverty Analysis by Center for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)
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