Nainika is a first year PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania’s History department. Before moving to Philadelphia, she worked with Krea University in India as a Manager in the Career Services Office and Diversity and Inclusivity Office. These experiences sparked her interest in the history of higher education in India, particularly of the construction of the ‘educated person’ in colonial India and transformations into postcolonial India.
During her MPhil, Nainika’s research revolved around the lives of British women missionaries who worked in India, particularly focusing on representations of Indian life at British missionary exhibitions organised in Britain. For this research, she followed objects that missionary women had brought from India to Britain for the purposes of exhibition and the ways in which the objects were used in exhibition displays. These objects have taken on new lives within museums across the UK today. Her MPhil dissertation, ‘Mission to Exhibit: British missionary activity and representations of India 1880-1950’, was awarded the Barbara Harriss-White prize at Oxford.