Dr Chamil Rathnayake


Journalism, Media and Communication

Personal statement

My teaching and research take an interdisciplinary approach to understand new media platforms. My current research pays special attention to 'mediated publicness' enabled by social media affordances. One of my recent papers suggested that new media affordances allow novel socialities, such as instances of 'momentary connectedness', that function as extended domains of connectivity. Currently, I examine the co-existence of transactive and non-transactive utterances in issue-response networks. 

I am a computational social science enthusiast, and my work applies methods in Social Network Analysis(SNA) and Natural Language Processing, such as centrality analysis, community detection, text mining, clustering, and topic model analysis. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, focusing on social informatics, communication theory, and communication policy and planning. My PhD dissertation built on previous work by developing an affordance-driven multi-item scale to measure social media uses and gratification and testing it across political actor categories. 

I welcome PhD students who would like to conduct their doctoral research within the broad field of social media studies. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, online political engagement, political dissidence and activism on social network sites, mediated publics, online communities, online social photography, fake news and satirical disinformation , and cross-ideology exposure and echo chambers. In particular, I encourage PhD proposals that use quantitative analysis techniques, such as structural equation models, social network analysis, and applications of text mining and analysis. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, I welcome applicants who are interested in applying concepts and methods in different fields of study, such as communication, computer science, politics, and sociology.  


Repurposing sentiment analysis for social research scopes : an inquiry into emotion expression within affective publics on Twitter during the Covid-19 emergency
Rathnayake Chamil, Caliandro Alessandro
Diversity, Divergence, Dialogue - 16th International Conference, iConference 2021, Proceedings iConference 2021 Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) Vol 12645 LNCS, pp. 396-410 (2021)
A link communities analysis of the UK Instagram Covid-19 searchable metadiscourse
Rathnayake Chamil, Suthers Daniel
International Conference on System Sciences, pp. 2946-2955 (2021)
Uptake, polymorphism, and the construction of networked events on twitter
Rathnayake Chamil
Telematics and Informatics (2020)
#HimToo and the networking of misogyny in the age of #MeToo
Boyle Karen, Rathnayake Chamil
Feminist Media Studies Vol 20, pp. 1259-1277 (2020)
Do platforms favour dissidents? Characterizing political actor types based on social media uses and gratifications
Rathnayake Chamil, Winter Jenifer Sunrise
Human Systems Management (2020)
Uptake, polymorphism, and memetic construction within #HimToo
Rathnayake Chamil
11th International Conference on Social Media & Society (2020)

More publications


Journalism, Media and Communication
Lord Hope Building

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