Mariam Durrani is an assistant professor of anthropology at Hamilton College. Durrani’s current book project examines how the category of “Muslim youth” is shifting and being redefined in the current political terrain such that we have unexpected, headstrong, and disruptive forms of mobility that challenge scholarship on migration, Islam, and youth. Her scholarship on anti-Muslim racism includes ”The Gendered Muslim Subject: Language, Islamophobia, and Feminist Critique” in the Oxford Handbook of Language and Race (2020) and “Communicating and Contesting Islamophobia” in Language and Social Justice (2019). As a public scholar, Durrani has written for Anthropology News, Religion Dispatches, Chapati Mystery, and Twitter @mariamdurrani.
Examining the Co-Production of “Imperial” Higher Education in Lahore and New York City
In the U.S., Pakistani-origin Muslim college students experience the domestic front of the “War on Terror” including law enforcement infiltrating and surveilling their mosques and college campuses and everyday discrimination and harassment. In Pakistan, one frontline for the War, youth have suffered the effects of the ground War and have raised their voices in dissent to the state. Based on a transnational ethnography, this paper examines student experiences at two self-proclaimed “global” universities in Lahore and New York City to argue that the college diversity talk and neoliberal political economy expose the co-production of an “imperial” higher education context. This paper historicizes the co-production of the imperial university in each context as a linked project through War and earlier political relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. This paper shows how the War racializes students and their educational trajectories in both contexts as they aspire to be recognized and included in global knowledge economies.
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