Shanika Ranasinghe

Shanika is a cradle (from birth) Roman Catholic student, studying for a part-time PhD in the sociology of music at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her specific topic is an ethnographic study of fans of ABBA (the pop group, not Abba Father!). As such, she spends a lot of time participating in Facebook groups for ‘research purposes’, and forcing her Department to pay for her to visit the ABBA Museum in Stockholm. Shanika was brought up on a healthy diet of The Sound of Music and the Sister Act movies from childhood. Consequently, despite being a native Londoner, she spent a good 15 years of her life thinking that Covent Garden in London was called ‘Convent Garden’. Shanika has a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Her favourite saints are three of the four female Doctors of the (RC) Church: Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Hildegard of Bingen.

A Story of Vocation

My Oxford tutor: Shana, have you ever wanted to become a nun? Me: No… but I’ve always wanted to be Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music! The above is a conversation with a Jewish Oxford tutor. He was intrigued by my Roman…


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