Marawila, Sri Lanka
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Institutions||Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge|
Sivasundaram was born in Sri Lanka. He is the great grand son of Lawrie Muthu Krishna, editor of the Ceylonese newspaper and founder of The Polytechnic vocational school. He is the grandson of Mano Muthu Krishna-Candappa, journalist and advocate for women's advancement in Sri Lanka. The Muthukrishnas were a leading family amongst Colombo's Chetty community.
Sivasundaram was educated at S. Thomas' Preparatory School (in the Sinhala medium) and Colombo International School. Sivasundaram says he hated studying history at school given how it was taught as social studies. After school he joined the University of Cambridge on a scholarship in 1994 to study engineering but later switched to history and graduated in 1997 with a BA degree. He also has MPhil (1998) and PhD (2001) degrees from Cambridge.
Sivasundaram joined Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 2001 as a research fellow before becoming a lecturer. He has been a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and a visiting senior research fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore and the University of Sydney. He taught south Asian and imperial history at the London School of Economics between 2008 and 2010. Between 2015 and 2017 he was Sackler Caird Fellow at the National Maritime Museum. He was director of the Centre for South Asian Studies, Cambridge and director of graduate studies at the Faculty of History, Cambridge. He is currently a fellow and professor of world history at Gonville and Caius College. He supervises MPhil and PhD students of world and imperial history.
Sivasundaram was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for medieval, early modern and modern history in 2012. He is a fellow and council member of the Royal Historical Society (RHS). He delivered the 2019 RHS Prothero Lecture. He is co-editor of The Historical Journal and was associate editor of the Journal of British Studies. He is on the editorial boards of History Australia, The International History Review and Medical History.
Sivasundaram has written numerous books and articles including:
- Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850 (2005, Cambridge University Press; ISBN 9780521188883, 0521188881, 9780521848367, 0521848369)
- Science, Race and Imperialism ed. with Marwa Elshakry in Victorian Science and Literature, Vol 6, eds. Bernard Lightman and Gowan Dawson (2012, Pickering & Chatto Publishers; ISBN 9781848930926, 1848930925)
- Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony (2013, University of Chicago Press; 2014, Oxford University Press, Delhi; ISBN 9780198096245, 0198096240)
- Oceanic Histories ed. with David Armitage and Alison Bashford (2017, Cambridge University Press; ISBN 9781108423182, 1108423183, 9781108434829, 1108434827)
- Waves Across the South (2020, Harper Collins)
- 'Materialities in the Making of World Histories: South Asia and the South Pacific' in Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture: World Perspectives ed. by Ivan Gaskell and Sarah Carter
- "Professor Sujit Sivasundaram". Cambridge, U.K.: Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- Sadanandan, Renuka (8 May 2016). "Framing an island". The Sunday Times. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- Sivasundaram, Sujit (19 January 2002). "Still thriving at hundred". The Island. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Tackling Key Questions". The Sunday Times. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- Karunaratne, Ilica Malkanthi (1 October 2017). "Mano Muthukrishna Candappa: A pioneer in many avenues". Sunday Observer. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
- Abayasekara, Anne (8 July 2001). "Carving a niche with a distinct contribution". The Sunday Times. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- Crusz, Noel (6 January 2002). "The 'Poly' doors opened and in came the girls". The Sunday Times. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Professor Sujit Sivasundaram". Cambridge, U.K.: Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Caius Fellow leads vibrant Centre of South Asian Studies". Cambridge, U.K.: Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Dr Sujit Sivasundaram". Cambridge, U.K.: Consortium for the Global South, University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Sujit Sivasundaram". London, U.K.: David Higham Associates. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Philip Leverhulme Prizes 2012". London, U.K.: Leverhulme Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Council: Dr Sujit Sivasundaram". London, U.K.: Royal Historical Society. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Caius Historian Gives Prothero Lecture". Cambridge, U.K: Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.