Professor of Modern South Asian Studies at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
Nira Wickramasinghe’s primary interests are identity politics, everyday life under colonialism and the relationship between state and society in modern South Asia. She has pursued these interests through investigation into such diverse themes as politics of dress, civil society, citizens and migrants, and objects of consumption. Trained as a historian, she has written on late colonial and modern Sri Lanka, using a variety of archives. In the last few years, her work has moved from a focus on national history albeit from a non-state perspective to an approach that contests the nation as a frame and attempts to capture other dimensions of belonging which might be best encapsulated in the term ‘‘postnational’’. Her current research addresses the genre of minor histories through studies of enslaved people and migrants in the Indian Ocean world.