Professor of Asian American Studies
University of California, Davis
Youth and Politics in the War on Terror: Activism, Alliances, and Counterpublics
This talk will focus on the meanings of “politics” for a generation of American youth that is coming of age in a post-9/11 era. In response to the U.S.-led global War on Terror and regimes of religious, racial, and political profiling, young people are mobilizing around the notion of “rights”—civil, immigrant, human—and engaging in and creating counterpublic spheres. The paper is based on an ethnographic study of youth South Asian, Arab, and Afghan American communities in Silicon Valley, California. It explores how college-age youth are producing, rethinking, or challenging cross-ethnic and interfaith alliances as well as transnational movements focused on South Asian and Middle East politics. My study explores the ways in which these young people are grappling with local, national, and transnational questions of imperialism, militarism, sovereignty, and democracy and how these are inflected by issues of race, gender, class, and religion.