Department/Office InformationEnglish, Women's Studies
Nimanthi Perera-Rajasingham's book, Assembling Ethnicities in Neoliberal Times: Ethnographic Fictions and Sri Lanka's War, is an imprint of the series, Critical Insurgencies, published by Northwestern University Press. Her book explores the role that colonialism, contemporary forms of globalization, and nationalism play in the the production of ethnic identities and ethnic violence, as they are articulated in aesthetic content influenced by ethnographic modes and forms of inquiry. To this end, she studies popular rural festivals, female workers' theater, novels on ethnic war, theaters of trauma and violence, and protest art and literatures.
She has recently begun research on South Asian diasporas in South Africa and the United States to explore their strategies of refusing segregation and racial domination in both countries, especially after the commencement of the War on Terror.
She completed her doctoral work at the English Department at Rutgers University (2013), and her Masters at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2002).
Watch an interview she did in South Africa about her research
Global Cities, Contemporary Writers: Global Debates, African Literature, South Asian Literature, Core India, Women's Studies, Power and Justice in Postcolonial Literature
Assembling Ethnicities in Neoliberal Times: Ethnographic Fictions and Sri Lanka's War (Forthcoming Northwestern University Press, 2019)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
“‘Work is War’: Neoliberalism and the Biafran War in Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy.” Research in African Literatures 48.4 (Winter 2017): 1-20.
“How Bodies Matter: Sri Lankan Working-Class Women’s Performances in a Time of War.” Contemporary South Asia 24.4 (2016): 374-386.
"The Factory is Like the Paddy-Field: Gam Udawa Performances, Ethnicity and Neoliberalism." South Asian Review 33.3 (January 2013): 275-293.
"Being Tamil in a Different Way: a Feminist Critique of the Tamil Nation." Co-author Radhika Coomaraswamy. Journal of the School of Languages and Literature, Jawaharlal Nehru University 8 (Autumn 2007): 71-96.
Edited and Introduced July ’83 and After. Special Issue of Nethra 6.1 & 2 (2003).
This was a 20th anniversary special issue that commemorated the 1983 pogrom in Sri Lanka. In July 1983 thousands of ethnic Tamils were killed and their property destroyed. In its aftermath, ethnic separatist war began in Sri Lanka. This issue published new and seminal essays, and creative works on that traumatic event and its lasting repercussions.
Edited and Collaborative Work in Books
"Being Tamil in a Different Way: a Feminist Critique of the Tamil Nation." Co-author Radhika Coomaraswamy. Ed. R. Cheran, Pathways of Dissent: Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka. New York: SAGE, 2009. (Sinhala version published in 2007)
Constellations of Violence: Gender and Representation in South Asia. Co-editor Radhika Coomaraswamy. New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2008. (Sinhala version published in 2011)
"The Politics of the Governed: Maternal Politics and Child Recruitment in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka." Co-editor Radhika Coomaraswamy, Constellations of Violence: Gender and Representation in South Asia. New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2008: 121-148.
Feminist Engagements with Violence: Contingent Moments from Sri Lanka. Co-authors Lisa Kois, and Rizvina De Alwis. Colombo: ICES, 2007.
Her research and teaching focus on Postcolonial Studies, South Asian Studies, African Literatures, Globalization Theory, Marxism, Anglophone Literature, Performance Studies, and Women's and Gender studies.