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LUCIS Masterclass | Islam in North Africa

Ethical Dilemmas and Material Challenges of Doing Research in High Surveillance Environments

Thursday 17 October 2019
Registration required
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In an era of increased policing, mass shootings, heavy border patrols, and the proliferation of data tracking via digital media technologies, questions about surveillance have implications for social researchers and laypersons alike.

This masterclass provides an opportunity for close discussion of this, and similar questions, such as how do researchers work with communities that are actively surveilled by policing agencies? How does the presence of surveillance re-structure the relationship between researchers and community participants? How are notions of truth, honesty, and reliability reconfigured in light of contemporary politics and surveillance technologies? How do we conduct research with youth, and their communities in an ethical manner? If you are thinking about these issues in your studies, and their implications for your current or future research design, please join us in conversation with Dr. Arshad Ali on October 17th, 2019.

This masterclass is part of the 2019 North Africa Research Program - “A Critical Return to Youth” and complements our program of roundtables, lectures, and workshops engaging with the lived realities of Muslim youth in the aftermath of historically significant local and global political events.

Assigned Readings:

Ali, A. I. (2017). The Impossibility of Muslim Citizenship. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 11(3), 100–116.

Ali, A. I. (2018). Learning in the Shadow of the War on Terror: Toward a Pedagogy of Muslim Indignation. In S. Daulatzai & J. Rana (Eds.), With Stones in Our Hands: Reflections of Race, Muslims, and U.S. Empire (pp. 244–257). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Ali. A. I. (2019). Off the record: Police surveillance, Muslim youth, and an ethnographer’s tools of research. Equity & Excellence in Education, 51(34). 431449.

Abdul Khabeer, S. (2016).  The Limits of Muslim Cool, in Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States. (pp178-218). New York: New York University Press, 2016).

Abu-Lughod, L. (2002).  Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and its Others. American Anthropologist 104(3): 783-90.

Rana, J. (2007) The Story of Islamophobia. Souls 9(2):148-161.

Recommended Reading:

Kundnani, A. (2013).  The Myth of Radicalization, in The Muslims are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror (pp. 115-152). New York: Verso.


About Dr. Arshad Ali

Dr. Arshad I. Ali is an Assistant Professor of Educational Research at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He earned a master’s degree at Harvard University and a doctorate at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University and University College London.

Dr. Ali is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and political engagement in the lives of young people. Dr. Ali has written extensively on issues relating to the cultural geography of Muslim student surveillance. He examines how economies of surveillance are scaled, both legally and ideologically, and how these scales of surveillance become manifest in the lives of Muslim youth in the United States. Dr. Ali is co-editor of the volume Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America's Public Schools, with Tracy Buenavista.  He has published numerous scholarly articles on Muslim youth identities and politics. Dr. Ali regularly speaks and works with colleges and universities, training students in bystander interventions, understanding the context of campus racial aggression, and how to address anti-Muslim discrimination and violence on campus.

Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., he served as the founding director of MAPS, a university based outreach and political education program working with students in South Los Angeles. He has actively been a part of youth, community and student organizing for over fifteen years.

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