Leila Wilmers

Postdoctoral Associate


My research concerns questions of nationalism, identity and collective memory, with a focus on the post-Soviet region. In exploring these topics, I build on my earlier professional experience in international development and peacebuilding in Russia, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. I am particularly interested in the interaction of ideology and everyday life, and the roles of place and local politics in the ways nations and nationalism are reproduced. I am currently working on a book exploring local narratives of the nation in major regional cities of Russia, based on fieldwork I conducted in Ekaterinburg and Kazan. I have received research funding awards from the UK Royal Geographical Society and the Institute for Armenian Studies, University of Southern California, and my articles have been published in the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities and Nationalities Papers.


Wilmers, L. (2022) ‘How we engage the principles of nationalism in making sense of uncertainty and disruptive social change’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 45:14, pp 2705-2725

Wilmers, L. (2022) ‘The local dynamics of nation building: Identity politics and constructions of the Russian nation in Kazan and Ekaterinburg’, Nationalities Papers, https://doi.org/10.1017/nps.2022.13

Wilmers, L. and Chernobrov, D. (2019) ‘Growing up with a long-awaited nation-state: Personal struggles with the homeland among young diasporic Armenians’, Ethnicities 20:3, pp 520-543

Chernobrov, D. and Wilmers, L. (2019) ‘Diaspora identity and a new generation: Armenian diaspora youth on the genocide and the Karabakh war’, Nationalities Papers 48:5, pp 915 - 930

Antonsich, M., Sotiropoulou, P., Wilmers, L., Zhaxi, C., Hyde, S. (2019) ‘"Our Nation’s Future": Youth visions of a post-Brexit Britain’ in Youth and the Politics of the Present: Coping with Complexity and Ambivalence, eds: Enzo Colombo and Paola Rebughini, Routledge


Courses – Spring 2023

SOC3170, GOVT3174: Nationalism and Identity

Courses - Spring 2023