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Michael L. Ratnapalan

Associate Professor of History

  • Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
  • Ph.D. in History, University of London

Email: Lmratna@yonsei.ac.kr
Tel: 032-749-3006
Office: Veritas Hall B435


I am an intellectual and cultural historian whose major area of teaching and research is Western religion and culture after 1800.


Ph.D. in History, University of London
M.A. in Cultural History, University of London
B.A. in History, University of York

Courses and Current Research Areas

Current research interests

I am writing an intellectual history about the later writings of Robert Louis Stevenson exploring the relationship between the expansion of Pacific Islands Christianity and the Victorian “crisis of faith”.

Selected Publications

  •  L M Ratnapalan, "Missionary Christianity and Culture in Stevenson’s Pacific Fiction," Religion and Literature, 53.2 (forthcoming)
  • L M Ratnapalan, ‘'Our Father’s Footprints': Robert Louis Stevenson’s Anthropology of Conversion, 1888-1894’ "Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, 11.1 (2020, forthcoming)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Half Christian: Indigenization and Inculturation in Stevenson’s Pacific Fiction," Scottish Literary Review (2020, forthcoming)
  • L M Ratnapalan, ‘“The greater Issue of Light against Darkness”: Sereno Edwards Bishop and the Hawaiian Islands, 1827-1909," Journal of Religious History, 43, 1 (2019)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Science and Politics in the Hawaiian Kingdom: The progress of the Honolulu Social Science Association, 1882-87," Journal of Pacific History 53, 2 (2018)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Another British World? Tamils, Empire, and Mobility," Britain and the World 10, 1 (2017)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Britain and the Politics of Ceylon, 1948-1961," The Historical Journal 59, 2 (2016)
  • L M Ratnapalan, ‘“Why Disgrace the Commonwealth?” The Sri Lankan Language Crisis and the Politics of a Transnational Organization, 1948-65," The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 44, 2 (2016)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Before and After 1983: the Impact of Theorizing Sri Lankan Migration History around the 1983 Colombo Riots," South Asia 37, 2 (2014)
  • Laavanyan M. Ratnapalan, "Sereno Bishop, Robert Louis Stevenson and 'Americanism' in Hawai’i," The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, 3 (2012)
  • Laavanyan M. Ratnapalan and David Reggio, "Erwin Straus and the Pathic," History of Psychiatry 23, 3 (2012)
  • Laavanyan M. Ratnapalan, "Memories of Ethnic Violence in Sri Lanka Among Immigrant Tamils in the UK," Ethnic and Racial Studies 35, 9 (2012)
  • L M Ratnapalan, "Engaging Theology in History: Problems and Prospects," Situations 6 (Winter 2012)
  • Laavanyan Ratnapalan, "Stevenson’s Anthropology of the Pacific Islands," Journal of Stevenson Studies, 6 (2009)
  • Laavanyan Ratnapalan, "E B Tylor and the Problem of Primitive Culture," History and Anthropology, vol. 19, no. 2 (2008)
  • Laavanyan Ratnapalan, "Robert Louis Stevenson and Cultural Survivals in the South Seas," Journal of Stevenson Studies, 3 (2006)

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