Nazli Kibria Kibria locates the struggles of studying Islamic identity in the Bangali Diaspora in a post-September 11 world. She addresses the economic and cultural strains that transnational forces have in shaping social relations within Bangladesh. She stresses her desire to produce scholarship that can inspire her students and inform policy agendas
I am a Bangladeshi (or Bangali, as I prefer to call it) by birth. Many of my immediate family members, including my mother, live in Bangladesh; I have a transnational family life. My ties to Bangladesh are very strong and dense even though I actually spent very little time in the country when I was growing up. My father was a diplomat and so I grew up in the many diff erent countries to which he was posted, such as Indonesia, Iran, and the United States. My parents were fi erce Bangali nationalists who talked and dreamed
about a free and independent Bangladesh long before it happened (in 1971). So I grew up with this nationalist ethos. I think this background has given me a particular interest in issues of identity as well as migration and social displacement, broadly speaking. And it has also given me a whole range of resources-social, cultural, linguistic-that I can deploy in my research on Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi Diaspora. Th e book that I am currently writing-on Islam and identity formation in the Bangladeshi Diaspora-has brought these interests and resources together in a powerful way for me.