Race & U.S. Empire

Organizers

Andrew Clarno, Sociology
Nicole Nguyen, Educational Policy Studies

This group focuses on the ways that racism and capitalism inform the logics and practices of the contemporary U.S. empire both within the U.S. and across the globe. Much of our scholarship revolves around two themes: the expansion of the security state and struggles against imperial racism.

Book Discussion: Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 from 11:30 – 1:30

Book Discussion:
How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin

UIC Institute for the Humanities

Saher Selod, Sociology, Simmons University

“Forever Suspect: Racialized Surveillance of Muslim Americans in the War on Terror”

Tuesday, 3/19 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Saher Selod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Simmons University. She joined the Department of Sociology in 2012 after completing her PhD at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests are in race and ethnicity, gender and religion. Her research examines how Muslim Americans experience racialization in the United States. Her book Forever Suspect: Racialized Surveillance of Muslim Americans in the War on Terror (Rutgers University Press 2018) examines how Muslim men and Muslim women experience gendered forms of racialization through their surveillance by the state and by private citizens. She has published several articles in journals like Sociology Compass and Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. She is on the editorial board of Ethnic and Racial Studies and is currently co-chairing the Section for Racial and Ethnic Minorities for the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

She is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and is an affiliated faculty member of the Islamophobia Studies Project at the University of California, Berkeley.

Book Discussion: Roderick Ferguson

February 27, 2019 from 1:30-3:00 PM in Room 1050 UH.

Discussion of One Dimensional Queer by Roderick Ferguson (Polity, 2018).

The meeting will be organized as a book discussion. Please plan to complete some or all of the reading before attending.

Cosponsored with the Racialized Body Cluster

Book Discussion: Robyn Spencer’s "The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland"

January 30, 2019 from 1:30 – 3 PM

Robyn Spencer’s The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland (Duke University Press, 2016).

The meeting will be organized as a book discussion. Please plan to complete some or all of the reading before attending.

Book Discussion: Nirmala Erevelles

October 22, 2018 from 12:00-1:30PM

Book Discussion – Nirmala Erevelles’s Disability and Difference in Global Contexts: Enabling a Transformative Body Politic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

The meeting will be organized as a book discussion. Please plan to complete some or all of the reading before attending.

Book Discussion

September 17, 2018 from 12-1:30

Book Discussion – Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke University Press, 2016)

The meeting will be organized as a book discussion. Please plan to complete some or all of the reading before attending.

Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico

September 11, 2018 at 4 PM

“American Carnage”: The U.S. War on Terror and Imperial Melancholia

In this talk I argue that the U.S. War on Terror is best understood as geopolitical and cultural formation rooted to “imperial melancholia.”  Melancholy is a condition marked by deep sadness and irrational fears. Similarly, the U.S. War on Terror is a form of state sanctioned violence presented as a defensive reaction to irrational and exceptionally violent forces.  In its fantasy of an opponent, it is similar to most imperial wars. What makes the U.S. War on Terror distinct, however, is that it calls on a particular set of violent images, of perverse bodies and racially demonic actors – terrorists – in order to project U.S. power globally.  In particular, it projects U.S. settler and imperial violence as attributes of racialized and perverse others. Drawing of Paul Gilroy’s concept of “post-colonial melancholia” I elaborate the theme of imperial melancholia in the U.S. War on Terror by discussing several formations of the terrorist – fantasies of exceptional violence – and trace its genealogy to aspect of U.S. state violence.  Seen through the prism of imperial melancholia, the U.S. War on Terror helps re-signify what, in national discourse, has been referred to as “American carnage.”

Alex Lubin is a Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico.  His scholarship engages global histories of race, the African Diaspora, and America in the world, with a particular focus on U.S./Middle East relations.  Lubin’s recent publications include Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (UNC, 2014). He is currently working on a history of a mid-nineteenth century naval ship called the USS Supply, a ship that was a key link in the global supply chain that enabled American expansion between the Mexican war and the Spanish American War.