Describe your “connection” to the work and researchers of the DTCRSJ
As a law professor and Critical Race Theorist, my work is driven by racial justice and interrogating how the law perpetuates racial inequities on a domestic and global scale. My focus on Islamophobia, specifically, aligns with the mission of the DTCRSJ.
What are your current research, teaching, and academic service projects?
I serve as a law professor at the Wayne State School of Law in Detroit Michigan, teaching an array of law school classes. I also serve as an Associate Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, and am a Scholar-in-Residence at Harvard University. Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
How do you plan to use your new position to enhance research, teaching, and academic service between the Centre and your networks?
My goal is to bridge the geographic and disciplinary lines between the Centre and my institution, and find innovative and dynamic new ways to educate students at both sites. I firmly believe that harmonising insights from South Africa and the U.S. could enhance the educations of both students, and create synergies that transform students’ outlooks.
In what way (s) do you feel your research examines the intersections of and overlaps between religion and social justice?
My research, if anything, ties rigorous legal inquiry with accessibility. I take great pride in making my work, on Islamophobia and otherwise, accessible and understandable to lay audiences, young students, and working class communities. This is particularly true for Islamophobia, which I am most recognized for, where I’ve been committed to making the real life, everyday experiences of Muslims – especially during the War on Terror – understandable through a social justice frame.
What advice can you offer post-graduate students and emerging scholars?
Above all, it’s key to follow your intellectual passion and genuine interests. Doing so will enable you to find your true voice, and will make an academic life far more than just a job or career – but a labour of love.
“I am super excited to be part of the Centre and community, and look forward to teaching a class – on the ground – at the University of Western Cape very soon.”