I am a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis under the supervision of Professor Sunaina Maira. I hold a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and studied philosophy and theology at Harvard Divinity School. Fundamentally, my writing and thinking is guided by a commitment to appreciate, conceptualize, and historicize the way racial subjects preserve and imagine a life not outside of, but through the pressures and consequences of violence. My research focuses on the constitution of American liberalism and how it develops its political, social, and legal technologies through enslavement, civil rights, security, police power, racial subjectivity, and the Islamic tradition.
Currently, I’m working on two interrelated book projects. Taking the Islamic tradition in the United States as my primary focus, the first book — titled The Subject of Civil Rights: Violence, Islam, and the Spirit of Security— examines the use and implementation of security measures in Islamic communities in the American South. In this manuscript, I explore how security, as a grounding norm of liberalism and other forms of modern governance, provides the conditions and sensibilities that capacitate the practice and transmission of the Islamic tradition in a site of racial violence and encroaching government surveillance. The second manuscript — titled Spiritual Stamina: A Genealogy of Civil Rights, Police Power, and Enslavement — reconsiders the early formation of civil rights and its relationship to police power and slavery. In this work, I focus on the metamorphosis of non-human slaves into legally protected humans that conventionally took place through manumission, emancipation, or contracted labor. In particular, Spiritual Stamina explores how such a metamorphosis emerged not only through legal or economic processes, but also through moral and ethical debates regarding the status of enslaved persons and their ability to feel injury, violence, and suffering.