Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Deepa Kumar ─ Terrorcraft: Why Racial Control Regimes Persist

Monday, April 3, 2023

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street

Even though the War on Terror is officially over, policies and practices put into place to keep Americans “safe” from the racialized terrorist threat persist. What began as a means to control the “Islamic terrorist” has been widened to incorporate a range of threats to the status quo from the “eco-terrorist” and Occupy Wall Street activists to Black Lives Matter and Native American activists. In this talk, Professor Kumar places the terrorist threat within the larger history of racialized securitization in the US to unpack how threats to empire are managed and contained. This is part of a new book project she is working on titled Terrorcraft: Race, Security and Empire which examines how “terrorcraft,” a taken-for-granted regime of racial control focused on the Muslim threat, has been useful for strengthening the policing powers of the national security state in US. Terrorcraft, she argues, is a malleable regime of social control that has endured past its moment of inception and even deracialized to incorporate other threats.

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