Critical Muslim Studies (Part VI)

This AAS Digital Dialogue is the sixth and final session of the series of discussions about topics in Critical Muslim Studies.

Friday, September 24, 2021

3:00-4:15pm Eastern Time

The sixth and final installment of a series of conversations on “Critical Muslim Studies” that center engaging with “Muslim” as an object and subject of knowledge in these times of increased ethno-nationalist populism, neo-colonial governmentality, and rising Islamophobia. Presenters will offer some takeaway points from their research to illuminate the dialogic, interconnected, and informed discourses and practices to understand the “Muslim” across regional, spatial, theoretical, and disciplinary boundaries. As a dialogue with active engagement with the virtual audience, by bringing in scholars whose work speaks through Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Arab American Studies, we can discuss a wider conceptualization of “Muslim” as embodiment, practice, critique, and transnationalism that can be important interventions in our academic associations. This session will feature panelists Suriyah Bi, Najwa Mayer, Saugher Nojan, and Shaista Patel with moderator Jean Beaman

Thank you to Stan Thangaraj for organizing this session, as well as the mini-series on Critical Muslim Studies.

Session Speakers

Suriyah Bi

Suriyah Bi

Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh

Dr. Suriyah Bi currently teaches at the University of Edinburgh and SOAS University of London. She is also founder and CEO of the Equality Act Review. She has extensive research experience researching British Muslims and diaspora communities, and is working on two forthcoming books based on her PhD research and a public lecture series, titled “Racialisation of Islam”.


Najwa Mayer

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth

Najwa Mayer is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth. Her research areas include visual and cultural studies, critical race and ethnic studies, religious studies, and feminist critique, focusing on US-based and transnational Muslim cultures. She also holds a fellowship with the Social Science Research Council’s Religion in the Public Sphere Program, focusing on the cultural politics of race, gender, and religion. Her first book manuscript examines this century’s global proliferation of and disparities within “Muslim American” popular cultures through the uneven relations between racial, sexual, and secular politics, consumer markets, and social movements. This research is particularly interested in how contemporary Muslim feminisms are both commodified and contested within the popular sphere.


Saugher Nojan

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies at San Jose State University

Saugher Nojan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies at San Jose State University. She received her PhD in Sociology with an emphasis in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research examines racial formations, anti-Muslim racism, immigrant/refugee racialization, and civic/political engagement. Her work has received support from the California Immigration Research Initiative, the Research Center for the Americas, the Student Success Equity Research Center, the Critical Refugee Studies Collective, and the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. She has peer-reviewed articles in Sociology of Religion, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and the Middle School Journal.


Shaista Aziz Patel

Assistant Professor of Critical Muslim Studies at the University of California, San Diego

Shaista Aziz Patel identifies as a Pakistani Shi’i Muslim scholar. She works as an Assistant Professor of Critical Muslim Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her political investments are in several questions that draw upon theories in Indigenous (to North America and South Asia), Black, Dalit, anti-caste, transnational, and Muslim feminist studies.


Session Moderator

Jean Beaman

Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Jean Beaman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with affiliations in Black Studies, Political Science, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, and the Center for Black Studies Research. Her research is ethnographic in nature and focuses on race/ethnicity, racism, international migration, and state-sponsored violence in both France and the United States. She is author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France (University of California Press, 2017).