Dr. Arshad Ali

Dr. Arshad Ali headshot

Dr. Arshad Ali

Associate Professor, Educational Research

School: Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Department: Cross-Disciplinary, Educational Leadership


Office Phone: (202) 994‑0272

Arshad I. Ali is an educator, community worker, and scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and politics. He is Associate Professor of Educational Research at the George Washington University, where he directs the Education & Inequality PhD concentration.

Dr. Ali’s research examines the construction of racial identities through exploring questions of democracy, liberalism, and modernity in the lives of youth. He has written extensively on issues relating to the cultural geography of Muslim student surveillance, citizenship, governmentality and other issues of coloniality and Muslims in Western spaces. 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 (with Teresa McCarty) of Critical Youth Research in Education: Methodologies of Praxis and Care and co-editor (with Tracy Lachica Buenavista) of Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America’s Public Schools, a collection of essays commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence."

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 Teachers College, Columbia University and University College London. 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 twenty years.

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Ed.M., Harvard University

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles

  • Anthropology of Education
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Race, Culture & Difference
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Muslim Youth
  • Citizenship & Liberalism
  • Critical Race Studies

Durrani, M. & Ali, A.I. (2021). Islamophobia as/and Racism: Understanding Education and Muslim Youth Through the Imperial Optic. In H. Rashid & H. Mohibullah. Bloomsbury Religion in North America. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Ghaffar-Kucher, A, Abu El-Haj, T. Ali, A.I. Fine, M., Shirazi, R. (2021). “Muslims are Finally waking Up”: post-9/11 American immigrant youth challenge conditional citizenship. Ethnic and Racial Studies. DOI:10.1080/01419870.2021.1957491

Ali, A. I. (2020). Outsider Citizens Within U.S. Empire: Muslim Youth, Race, Religion, and Identity. In D. Yoo & K. Joshi (Eds.). Envisioning Religion, Race and Asian Americans. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Ali, A.I., & McCarty, T.L. (2020). Centering Critical Youth Research Methodologies of Praxis and Care. In A.I. Ali and T. McCarty (Eds.). Critical Youth Research in Education: Methodologies and Praxis. New York: Routledge.

Vanderbilt, S. & Ali, A.I. (2020). Community Engagement and Meaningful Trust as Bedrocks of Well-Crafted Research. In A.I. Ali and T. McCarty (Eds.). Critical Youth Research in Education: Methodologies and Praxis. New York: Routledge

Rana, J., Alsultany, E., Deeb, L., Fadda, C., Abdul Khabeer, S., Ali, A., Daulatzai, S., Grewal, Z., Hammer, J., & Naber, N. (2020). Pedagogies of Resistance: Why Anti-Muslim Racism Matters. Amerasia Journal. DOI: 10.1080/00447471.2020.1761278

Ali, A. I. (2019). The Campus as Crucible: A Critical Race Analysis of Campus Climate in the Experiences of Muslim Undergraduates. Teachers College Record, 121(5).

Ali. A. I. (2019). Off the record: Police surveillance, Muslim youth, and an ethnographer’s tools of research. Equity & Excellence in Education, 51(3–4). 431–449. DOI:10.1080/10665684.2019.1584545

Chan, C., Steen, S., Howard, L., & Ali, A. I. (2019). Disentangling the Complexities of Queer Theory and Intersectionality Theory: Research Paradigms and Insights for Social Justice. In K. K. Strunk & L. A. Locke (Eds.). Research Methods for Social Justice and Equity in Education (pp. 59–70). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ali, A. I. & Buenavista, T. L. (2018). Education at war: The fight for students of color in America’s public schools. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press.

Ali, A. I. & Buenavista, T. L. (2018). Toward an anti-war pedagogy: Challenging materialism, militarism, and racism in education. In A. I. Ali & T. L. Buenavista (Eds.), Education at war: The fight for students of color in America’s public schools (pp. 1-28). Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press.

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. (2017). Trumpal fears, anthropological possibilities, and Muslim futures. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 48, 386–392. doi:10.1111/aeq.12219

Ali, A. I. (2017). The impossibility of Muslim citizenship. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 11 (3), 100-116. doi: 10.1080/15595692.2017.1325355

Ali, A., Kashani, M., & Vossoughi, S. (2017, Aug 2). On The Lookout. Anthropology News website. doi: 10.1111/AN.522

Howard, L.C., & Ali, A. I. (2017). (Critical) Educational ethnography: Methodological premise and pedagogical objective. In R. Hopson & W. Rodrick. (Eds.), New directions in educational ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography) (Vol. 13, pp. 141-163). United Kingdom: Emerald.

Abdul Khabeer, S., Ali, A. I., Alsultany, E., Daulatzai, D., Deeb, L., Fadda, C., Grewal, Z., Hammer, J., Naber, N., & Rana. J. (2017, April). Islamophobia Is Racism Syllabus.

Ali, A., Vossoughi, S., & Kashani, M. (2017, Feb 3). Responding to the Presidential Executive Order Banning Immigrants: The Kharij Collective. Just Talk: Voices of Education and Justice. Center X, UCLA.

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.

  • February 2024 - Dr. Arshad I. Ali hosted a working group of scholars and artists from across the country at GW for a meeting titled, “Creating Public Methodologies for Reimagining Histories: Toward Justice and a Transformative View of the Possible in Education.” The Spencer Foundation funded this conversation, which included a dozen scholars who have been working together for the past five years.