Arshad Ali

Arshad Ali
Assistant Professor, Educational Research
(202) 994-0272

Dr. Arshad I. Ali is an educator, youth worker, and scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and democratic engagement. He earned a masters 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’s research examines the construction of racial identities through exploring the tropes of democracy, liberalism, and modernity in the lives of the youth. The fundamental question he is concerned with is how young people from historically marginalized communities come to make sense of urban life in the U.S., and how they find meaning in their lives through understanding the manifestations of political and cultural ideologies in daily action.

Dr. Ali is completing a book length manuscript examining the cultural geography of Muslim student surveillance. This book examines how economies of surveillance are scaled, both legally and ideologically, and how these scales of surveillance become manifest in the lives of Muslim undergraduates in the United States. Dr. Ali is co-editing At War: Challenging Racism, Militarism, and Materialism in Education, a collection of essays commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence.

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 currently serves as an executive board member for the People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment. He has actively been a part of youth, community and student organizing for over a fifteen years.

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Ed.M., Harvard University
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles


Ali, A. I. (2016), Citizens under Suspicion: Responsive Research with Community under Surveillance. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 47: 78–95. doi:10.1111/aeq.12136

Ali, A. I. (2014). A threat enfleshed: Muslim college students situate their identities amidst portrayals of Muslim violence and terror. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27 (10), 1243-1261.

Ali, A. I. (2014). Quelling Dissent: Disciplining Liberalism on Muslim College Students’ Speech and Action. Critical Education, 5 (18), 1-18.

Gutiérrez, K., Ali, A. & Henríquez, C. (2009). 'Syncretism and Hybridity: Schooling, Language, and Race and Students from Non-dominant Communities' In M. Apple, S. Ball & L. Gandin (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education. New York: Routledge.

Ali, A. (2009). 'Radical Education in the Critical Moment: Envisioning a Revolutionary Praxis of Language, Teaching and Race in a Time of War' In M. Eryaman (Ed.), Peter McLaren, Education, and the Struggle for Liberation: Revolution as Education. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Ali, A., Wells, L., Medina, D., Valladares, S., Oakes, J. & Rogers, J. (2007). African American Educational Opportunity Report 2007. Los Angeles: UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

Ali, A., Wells, L., Oakes, J. & Rogers, J. (2007). Roadblocks to College for African American Students: A Report on California's Educational Opportunities. Los Angeles: Bunche Center for African American Studies & University of California All Campus Consortium for Research on Diversity.

In the News

Dr. Arshad Ali presented a plenary session entitled "Students, families and communities in a context of movement and inequality: Ways forward" at the Addressing inequalities, mobility and dislocation: Insights from international and domestic research and practice conference in East Lansing, MI.

Dr. Arshad Ali gave an invited lecture entitled Muslims, Race and the Surveillance State: Muslim Youth in Post 9-11 America at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health on May 4. In addition, Dr. Ali has presented recent talks including Race, Muslims and Surveillance in Post 9-11 America: Lessons from Research with Muslim Youth at Harvard University's Chan School of Public Health, Understanding Anti-Muslim Discrimination and the Experiences of Muslim Students on College Campuses at the Diversity and Inclusion Summit at Brown University, and Lessons from Chavez's legacy of non-violence activism for students today at GW's Cesar Chavez Day 2017 event. Dr. Ali also presented a paper entitled Neocolonial Rationalities and Policing Muslim Bodies at a highlighted session, Religion, Security, and Schooling: Educational Responses to Extremism and Related Issues, at the Comparative International Education Society meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Arshad Ali will present on Friday, March 3 as part of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education's Askwith Forum panel entitled Take Action: Advancing Justice and Equity in Today's Climate.

Dr. Arshad Ali helped to organize and present as part of the National Teach-In on the Presidential Executive Order Banning Muslims, Immigrants, and Refugees. The virtual panel included lawyers, scholars, educators and activists from around the country who are working on these issues. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the event here.

Dr. Arshad I. Ali gave an invited talk hosted by the Office of Institutional Diversity at California State University-East Bay as part of their Week of Inclusive Excellence entitled Citizen Suspect: Political Literacy and Muslim Youth Futures in a Post 9-11 USA.