Nihal Perera

Region of Interest

South Asia

Primary Country of Residence

United States of America


Associate Professor of Urban Planning


Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana


Mailing Address

Dept. of Urban Planning
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306 USA

Phone/Fax Number(s)

phone: 765/285-8606
fax: 765/285-2648


Countries of Specialization

Sri Lanka

Research Interests

My research focuses on the politics of social space,
especially how the subalterns negotiate space in South Asia. Areas of
concern include urban social theory, colonial and postcolonial theory,
landscape interpretation, world-systems, politics of development,
politics of planning, issues of identity and representation,
international development, and multicultural planning.

Teaching Interests

I teach in the areas of urban social theory,
urban form, urban design, international development, development planning,
physical planning, regional analysis, computer applications, and
design communication.



1. Decolonizing Ceylon: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Politics of
Space in Sri Lanka. New Delhi: Oxford University Press (A new Asian
edition of Society and Space), 1999.

2. Society and Space: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Postcolonial Identity
in Sri Lanka. Boulder, Co: Westview Press, 1998


1. Feminizing the City: Gender and Space in Colonial Colombo. In
Trans-Status Subjects: Genders in the Globalization of South and Southeast
Asia, eds., Sonita Sarker and Esha Niyogi De. Durham, NC: Duke University
Press, 67-87 2002

2. Colonialism and National Space: Representations of Sri Lanka. In
Conflict and Community in Contemporary Sri Lanka: 'Pearl of the East' or
the 'Island of Tears'?, ed., Siri Gamage and I. B. Watson: 23-48. Sage,

3. Globalization and the Urban Form: Transformations in Colombo in the
1980s and 1990s, In City, Space, and Globalization: An International
Perspective, ed., Hemalata C. Dandekar: 39-45, University of Michigan,

4. Exploring Colombo: The Relevance of a Knowledge of New York. In
Representing the City: Ethnicity, Capital, and Culture in the 21st Century
Metropolis, ed., Anthony D. King: 137-157. Macmillan, 1996.

C) Journal Articles/ Refereed Papers

1. Indigenising the Colonial City: Late 19th-Century Colombo and Its
Landscape. Urban Studies: Contested Landscapes, Asian Cities, eds., Lily
Kong and Lisa Law, 39, 9: 1703-21, 2002

2. Explaining Colombo: The Contested History of a Colonial City. Seminar
Proceedings: Urban Renaissance through City Architecture (Colombo: Sri
Lanka Institute of Architects): 17-31 2002

3. Development Policies and the Built Environment in Sri Lanka. The Sri
Lanka Architect, Special Issue on Architects' Contribution for the
Development in Sri Lanka 102, 1: 12-26 2000

4. Territorial Spaces and National Identities: Representations of Sri
Lanka. South Asia, xx: 23-50, 1998

5. Exporting Urban Perceptions: The Colonial Origins of Urban Problems and
Planning in Colombo, In The Twentieth Century Urban Planning Experience:
Proceedings of the 8th International Planning History Conference, ed.
Robert Freestone: 693-698 (Sydney: University of New South Wales:
International Planning History Society), 1998

6. Winning on the Net: Virtual International Design Education, (with
Mackey and Koehler) In Proceedings of the Association of Collegiate
Schools of Architecture International Conference, Berlin: 266-269, 1997

7. Critical Vernacularism: The Subversion of Universalizing Trends in
Architecture, In Proceedings of the 83rd Annual Meeting of the ACSA, 83

8. National Architecture: Fiction or Reality? The Sri Lankan Experience In
International Research Symposium on Architecture + Culture, Proceedings,
eds., Tom Donais, Trevor Boddy, and Enn Kayari: 135-140. Ottawa: Carleton
University, 1992

Reviews, Reports, and Other Punblications

1. Review of Southeast Asian Urban Environments: Structured and
Spontaneous, Carla Chifos and Ruth Yabes, eds. (Tempe, AZ: Arizona State
University Program for Southeast Asian Studies, 2000) in the Journal of
Planning Literature 17, 1(August): 67 2002

2. Experiential Learning in South Asia, Association of Collegiate Schools
of Planning Update, (October), 3-5 2001

3. PolyArk XIV: Kathmandu Studio, ASA News Bulletin, 2, 3 (Mar-Jun): 2-3

4. The Origins of Colonial Urbanism: The Americas and Asia, In
Proceedings: Fifth National Conference on American Planning History 1993

5. The Conceptual Framework Employed in Planning Mahaweli Towns. The Sri
Lanka Architect 100, 6 (June-August): 14-18, 1990

6. Scope for Architects and Planners in the Mahaweli Project. Mahaweli
Architects' Union Journal 1, 1 (May): 11-14, 1988

7. Planning Parameters for Mahaweli Towns, Isura 11, 4 (April, 1986):
11-13 (Sinhalese), 1986

8. Reference Models for Mahaweli Rural Settlements. Cambridge, MA: MIT.


politics ; sociology ; subaltern studies ; social theory ; colonialism ; postcolonial theory ; ...