Arshad Ali

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

Dr. Arshad I. Ali is an educator, community worker, and scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and politics. 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 Columbia University and University College London.

Dr. Ali’s research examines the construction of racial identities through exploring questions of democracy, liberalism, and modernity in the lives of 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 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 if 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."

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
EdFix Episode 1: Muslim Youth Identity and the Promise of Public Education Does the promise of American democracy still ring true for young Muslims in the United States today? And what role could schools play in addressing civic engagement for historically marginalized populations? Dr. Arshad Ali discusses his research on Muslim youth identity and the broader purpose of our American political and schooling systems on episode 1 of the EdFix podcast.


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). 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). 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 I. Ali published an article entitled, "Off the Record: Police Surveillance, Muslim Youth, and an Ethnographer’s Tools of Research" in the journal Equity & Excellence in Education.

Dr. Arshad Ali published an article in the Teachers College Record entitled, "The Campus as Crucible: A Critical Race Analysis of Campus Climate in the Experiences of American Muslim Undergraduates." In addition, Dr. Ali will be giving a talk at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College (Columbia University) about his book Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America's Public Schools.

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.