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Kanchana N Ruwanpura

Reader in Development Geography, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Kanchana N Ruwanpura is Reader in Development Geography at the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh. She held leadership roles within the University of Edinburgh as Co-Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies (2015-2018) and Director of the MSc programme in Environment and Development (2013-2019). She has her PhD in Development Studies from Newnham College, University of Cambridge and since that time has worked at the University of Southampton, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, University of Munich and the International Labor Office (Geneva).

Dr. Ruwanpura’s research explores themes around feminism, ethnicity, development, labor practices and ethical trade in South Asia, which has been funded by the AAUW, ESRC and British Academy, amongst others. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes and as a research monograph. She holds the role of editor in the leading feminist geography journal Gender, Place and Culture and Geoforum. She is also on the Editorial Board of Feminist Economics.

During 2019-20 she was awarded fellowships by the Humboldt Foundation and Max Weber Stiftung (declined). Currently she is holding a fellowship as France-ILO Chair at IAS-Nantes (France) and finalizing a book on Sri Lankan garments, labour politics and ethical code governance, which will be published by Cambridge University Press.


  • –present
    Reader in Development Geography, University of Edinburgh