Sunaina Marr Maira

in conversation with Terry K. Park

an Author Meets Critics session

When: May 27, 2017. 8:45–10:15 am

Where: Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Participants: Sunaina Marr Maira (featured author), Terry K. Park (discussant), and Cathy Hannabach (session chair)

Registration: Cultural Studies Association website

About The 9/11 Generation: Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror

Since the attacks of 9/11, the banner of national security has led to intense monitoring of the politics of Muslim and Arab Americans. Young people from these communities have come of age in a time when the question of political engagement is both urgent and fraught. In The 9/11 Generation: Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror (NYU Press, 2016), Sunaina Marr Maira uses extensive ethnography to understand the meaning of political subjecthood and mobilization for Arab, South Asian, and Afghan American youth. Maira explores how young people from communities targeted in the War on Terror engage with the “political,” forging coalitions based on new racial and ethnic categories, even while they are under constant scrutiny and surveillance, and organizing around notions of civil rights and human rights. The 9/11 Generation explores the possibilities and pitfalls of rights-based organizing at a moment when the vocabulary of rights and democracy has been used to justify imperial interventions, such as the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maira further reconsiders political solidarity in cross-racial and interfaith alliances at a time when US nationalism is understood as not just multicultural but also post-racial. Throughout, she weaves stories of post-9/11 youth activism through key debates about neoliberal democracy, the “radicalization” of Muslim youth, gender, and humanitarianism.

About Sunaina Marr Maira

Sunaina Maira is a professor of Asian American Studies and co-director of the Mellon Research Initiative in Comparative Border Studies at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Desis in the House: Indian American Youth Culture in New York City (Temple Univ. Press, 2002) and Missing: Youth, Citizenship, and Empire After 9/11 (Duke Univ. Press, 2009). She co-edited Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America (Temple Univ. Press, 1998), which won the American Book Award, and The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2014). Her new book, The 9/11 Generation: Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2016), is a study of South Asian, Arab, and Afghan American youth and political movements focused on civil and human rights and issues of sovereignty and surveillance in the War on Terror. Maira has been involved with various community organizations and antiwar and global justice groups in the Bay Area and nationally.

About Terry K. Park

Terry K. Park is an award-winning teacher, scholar, activist, and former performance artist. Currently a lecturer in History & Literature at Harvard University as well as an academic coach at Ideas on Fire, Terry has also taught courses in Asian American, American, and Asian Studies at Wellesley College, Miami University, Hunter College, the University of California, Davis, and San Quentin State Prison. His research interests focus on how the Korean War, popularly known as the US’s “forgotten war,” shaped, and continues to shape, US liberal empire and Transpacific cultural practices. Terry has authored journal articles, policy reports, and book reviews on the ghostly legacies of the Korean War in US and Asian American culture, including the lead essay in MELUS’s Winter 2011 special issue on Asian American performance artIncluded on the list, “Inspiring Activists: Trailblazers and leaders in the community and in the struggle for social justice” by San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, Terry has participated in several national and community-based Asian American organizations across the US, including serving as Executive Director of Hyphen magazine, an award-winning national print- and web-based publication on Asian American culture, politics, and arts. He also created and hosted the Jeremy-Lin-themed web-based roundtable talk show, Joy Dunk ClubTerry is also the playwright and performer of the critically-acclaimed 2006 off-Broadway solo show 38th ParallelsIt weaves together character monologues, spoken word, and hip hop to take audiences from his mother’s house in Pyongyang to a Salt Lake City “nut house” to the World Cup in Seoul and all points in between. Backstage called 38th Parallels “entertaining,” concluding that “Park succeeds often enough to distinguish himself and his voice from the crowd.”

About Cathy Hannabach

Cathy Hannabach is the president of Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome books, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds. Cathy is also the founder and director of the Grad School Rockstars community, which help smart, progressive, interdisciplinary scholars who struggle with the nuts and bolts of how to turn that intelligence and inspiration into tangible, effective, and repeated work. She hosts the Imagine Otherwise podcast, which highlights the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Cathy is the author of Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which traces the cultural history of blood as it both enabled twentieth-century US imperialism and was creatively transformed by feminist, anticolonial, anticapitalist, and queer artists and activists, and Book Marketing for Academics (Ideas on Fire, 2016), which teaches you how to harness your resources, skills, and time to build your author platform and get the word out about your new book. She currently serves on the Cultural Studies Association Executive Board and Governing Board.

Check out our other events at CSA this year

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