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The Imperial University

At colleges and universities throughout the United States, political protest and intellectual dissent are increasingly being met with repressive tactics by administrators, politicians, and the police--from the use of SWAT teams to disperse student protestors and the profiling of Muslim and Arab American students to the denial of tenure and dismissal of politically engaged faculty. The Imperial University brings together scholars, including some who have been targeted for their open criticism of American foreign policy and settler colonialism, to explore the policing of knowledge by explicitly linking the academy to the broader politics of militarism, racism, nationalism, and neoliberalism that define the contemporary imperial state.The contributors to this book argue that "academic freedom" is not a sufficient response to the crisis of intellectual repression. Instead, they contend that battles fought over academic containment must be understood in light of the academy's relationship to U.S. expansionism and global capital. Based on multidisciplinary research, autobiographical accounts, and even performance scripts, this urgent analysis offers sobering insights into such varied manifestations of "the imperial university" as CIA recruitment at black and Latino colleges, the connections between universities and civilian and military prisons, and the gender and sexual politics of academic repression.Contributors: Thomas Abowd, Tufts U; Victor Bascara, UCLA; Dana Collins, California State U, Fullerton; Nicholas De Genova; Ricardo Dominguez, UC San Diego; Sylvanna Falcon, UC Santa Cruz; Farah Godrej, UC Riverside; Roberto J. Gonzalez, San Jose State U; Alexis Pauline Gumbs; Sharmila Lodhia, Santa Clara U; Julia C. Oparah, Mills College; Vijay Prashad, Trinity College; Jasbir Puar, Rutgers U; Laura Pulido, U of Southern California; Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo, California State U, Long Beach; Steven Salaita, Virginia Tech; Molly Talcott, California State U, Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents

Contents Introduction. The Imperial University: Race, War, and the Nation-State Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira I. Imperial Cartographies 1. New Empire, Same University? Education in the American Tropics after 1898 Victor Bascara 2. Militarizing Education: The Intelligence Community's Spy Camps Roberto J. Gonzalez 3. Challenging Complicity: The Neoliberal University and the Prison-Industrial Complex Julia C. Oparah II. Academic Containment 4. Neoliberalism, Militarization, and the Price of Dissent: Policing Protest at the University of California Farah Godrej 5. Faculty Governance at the University of Southern California Laura Pulido 6. The BDS Movement and Violations of Academic Freedom at Wayne State University Thomas Abowd 7. Decolonizing Chicano Studies in the Shadows of the University's "Heteropatriracial" Order Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo III. Manifest Knowledges 8. Normatizing State Power: Uncritical Ethical Praxis and Zionism Steven Salaita 9. Nobody Mean More: Black Feminist Pedagogy and Solidarity Alexis Pauline Gumbs 10. Teaching outside Liberal-Imperial Discourse: A Critical Dialogue about Antiracist Feminisms Sylvanna Falcon, Sharmila Lodhia, Molly Talcott, and Dana Collins 11. Citation and Censure: Pinkwashing and the Sexual Politics of Talking about Israel Jasbir Puar IV. Heresies and Freedoms 12. Within and Against the Imperial University: Reflections on Crossing the Line Nicholas De Genova 13. Teaching by Candlelight Vijay Prashad 14. UCOP versus R. Dominguez -The FBI Interview: A One-Act Play a la Jean Genet Ricardo Dominguez Acknowledgments Contributors Index

About the Author

Piya Chatterjee is Backstrand Chair and professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Scripps College. She is the author of A Time for Tea: Women, Labor, and Post/Colonial Politics on an Indian Plantation and coeditor of States of Trauma: Gender and Violence in South Asia. Sunaina Maira is professor of Asian American studies at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Desis in the House: Indian American Youth Culture in New York City and Missing: Youth, Citizenship, and Empire after 9/11.


"The public space of higher education is under siege. The Imperial University interrogates in brilliant detail the nature of such attacks and the hidden structures of power and politics that define them. But it does more in providing a passionate call to rethink higher education part of a future in which learning is linked to social change. A crucial book for anyone who imagines the university as both an essential public sphere and an index of what a democracy should be." -Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University

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