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

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. (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.

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., 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 I. Ali's edited book, Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America's Public Schools, was published by Fordham University Press. Written from the perspectives of education practitioners and scholars who have personal histories with global war via (settler) colonialism, immigration, and subsequent disenfranchisement in the United States, Education at War addresses the vestiges of war that shape the lives of youth of color.

Dr. Arshad Ali presented on Friday, February 23, 2018 as part of the Muslim Masculinities: A Symposium on Gender, Religion, and the Everyday hosted by the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ali's talk is entitled "Bodies of Terror: Constructions of Gender and Muslimness."

Dean Michael Feuer launched a new podcast called EdFix. On the podcast, Dean Feuer talks with researchers, practitioners, and policymakers about effective strategies and ideas for improving our schools and colleges, and explores ways to connect their worlds to take on some of education’s most complex issues.

Dr. Arshad Ali was the featured guest on the EdFix inaugural podcast, hosted by Dean Michael Feuer. The episode is entitled Muslim Youth Identity and the Promise of Public Education. (Episode 1)

Dr. Arshad Ali will be a panelist on a webinar hosted by the AERA Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans SIG entitled Conducting and Collaborating on AAPI Research in Today's Political Climate. The webinar will took place on Friday, October 13 at 1:00pm (10:00am PCT).