Leila Wilmers

Postdoctoral Associate


My research concerns nationalism in the contemporary world, and particularly experiences of nationhood and the processes and conditions of bottom-up engagement with nationalist ideology and politics. Empirically, I focus primarily on the post-Soviet region. My work highlights the interaction of ideology and everyday life in the ongoing resonance of nationalism, and the role of place and local politics in the ways nationhood is experienced and nationalism takes shape. I am currently working on a book on nationalism in Russia, in which I show how tensions integral to nationhood keep nationalist ideology alive, rather than weakening it. I have received research funding awards from the UK Royal Geographical Society and the Institute for Armenian Studies, University of Southern California.


Wilmers, L., ‘‘Is it really diversity when you can’t study your native language in school?’: Negotiating the discourse of a multi-ethnic Russian people from below’Europe-Asia Studies (forthcoming)

 Wilmers, L (2023) ‘Angharad Closs Stephens (2022) National Affects: The Everyday Atmospheres of Being Political. London: Bloomsbury Academic’, Journal of Language and Politics, https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.23073.wil

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, 51:2, pp258-279

Wilmers, L. and Chernobrov, D. (2020) ‘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. (2020) ‘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

SOC Courses - Spring 2024