As the Director of the Social Justice major, I was interested in this workshop as our program is committed to de-imperializing the academy and following liberatory structures and supporting new faculty of color. But it is hard to describe what it is like to attend a workshop led by one of your academic heroes. this liberating writing workshop helped me to more clearly name in my teaching and mentoring how these imperializing structures of the academic world have been creating ensuant anxieties for those of us working in the margins with radical methodologies.
Nadine Naber’s excellent workshop encouraged scholars to conceptualize beyond their fields in order to further interrogate the imperialist ideologies within their frameworks. This struck a chord with me, since my training in postcolonial and cultural studies in the literature dept at Northwestern University felt incomplete without engaging in embodied practices. Nadine Naber called on scholars to reclaim themselves from the tides of academic violations and isolation, and to collectively envision, especially for young scholars of color, those of us in the field who have their backs. Although the emotive grounding was in itself essential work, this layering of the movement from grounding—in the most solid terms of love into light—became a radical re-conception of academic practices. But it was just the start of liberating one’s work: the hands-on activities encouraged us to create liberating methodologies and creative conceptualizations rooted in critical heritage practices. Nadine Naber has offered not only thoughtful forums to ensure that our practices are part of liberating structures, but also clear statements of the critical problems. As my current book project crosses inter-disciplinary lines between cultural studies and digital activism, the ways that I have been naming these forms of agency needed more clarity. As I have been struggling with how to radically conceptualize my project, which demands more attention to women activists and their liberatory structures, this workshop suggested strategies to name and claim the practices and protests and expressions in artistic and digital form of these women activists, so, too, these alternative feminisms showed radical urgencies. Nadine Naber’s workshop should be required in all universities, for this is exactly the work that we need to do. As I more thoughtfully construct De-imperializing Gender: Public Protest, Digital Activism, & U.S. Muslim Solidarities, my work has been strengthened by the insight of this great scholar, who has set up a radical practice of ushering this emergent Arab American Studies and other American Studies fields in not only identifying the extensive harms, but calling forth alternative feminisms, and in this, this great scholar and workshop leader is also, in the most profound ways a healer.