Sharika Thiranagama is the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Faculty Scholar in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
Her research has focused on various aspects of the Sri Lankan civil war. Primarily, she has conducted research with two different ethnic groups, Sri Lankan Tamils and Sri Lankan Muslims. Her research explores changing forms of ethnicisation, the effects of protracted civil war on ideas of home in the midst of profound displacement and the transformations in and relationships between the political and the familial in the midst of political repression and militarization. She has also conducted other research on the history of railways in Sri Lanka, on the political culture of treason amongst Sri Lankan Tamils, the BBC World service in South Asia etc. She is currently carrying out a new fieldwork project on Transformations of Public and Private Life in Kerala. It is based in the Palakkad district of Kerala and will examine three generations of transformation among agricultural workers and the rural library movement.
Books and Special Issues
2011 In My Mother’s House: Civil War in Sri Lanka. Foreword by Gananath Obeysekere. University of Pennsylvania Press. http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14939.html.
Indian Edition published in 2013 by Zubaan Books.
2013 “Reconciliation, Popular Aspirations, and the State” Co-edited with Ozlem Biner. Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, 4.1 (March)
2010 Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy and the Ethics of State-Building Co-Edited with Tobias Kelly. University of Pennsylvania Press. http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14939.html.
2010 ‘South Asian Diasporas and the BBC World Services: Contacts, Conflicts, and Contestations’ Marie Gillespie, Sharika Thiranagama, Alasdair Pinkerton and Gerhardt Baumann (ed) South Asian Diaspora 2(1)
2014 “Making Tigers from Tamils: Sri Lankan Tamils and Long Distance Nationalism in Toronto, Canada” American Anthropologist 116(2): 265-278
2014 “ Female Militancy: Reflections from Sri Lanka” in Routledge Handbook of Gender in South Asia, ed., Leela Fernandes. London: Routledge
2013 “The Self at a Time of War,” in special issue “The Self in South Asia,” ed. Nayanika Mookherjee, Journal for Historical Sociology 26 (1):19-40
2013 “Claiming the State: Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka,” in special Issue “Reconciliation, Popular Aspirations, and the State”, Thiranagama S and Biner O (eds). Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, 4 (1): 93-116
2012 “Muslims, Ethnicity and Minority Identity in Sri Lanka,” in Religion and Politics in South Asia, ed. Christophe Jaffrelot and Amina Arif. Purushartha, Sciences Sociales en Asie du Sud. Paris: EHESS
2012 “‘A Railway to the Moon’: the Post-Histories of a Sri Lankan Railway Line,” Modern Asian Studies 46: 221-248. Cambridge University Press DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X1100063
2011. “Ethnic Entanglements: BBC Tamil and Sinhala services amidst the civil war in Sri Lanka”. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, Vol 12 (2): 153-169.
2010 with Tobias Kelly "Spectres of Treason" in S. Thiranagama and T. Kelly (Eds) Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy and the Ethics of State-Building. University of Pennsylvania Press.
2010 "In Praise of Traitors: Intimacy, Betrayal and the Sri Lankan Tamil Community" in S. Thiranagama and T. Kelly (eds) Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy and the Ethics of State-Building. University of Pennsylvania Press.
2010. "Partitioning the BBC: From Colonial to Postcolonial Broadcaster" South Asian Diaspora 2 (1): 39-55.
2007 "A New Morning? Reoccupying home in the aftermath of violence in Sri Lanka" Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 49, No. 1:45-61.