Nicole Nguyen (she/her) is associate professor of criminology, law, & justice. She also is a 2022 Soros Justice Fellow. As a feminist geographer, Nicole ethnographically investigates the intersections of national security, war, and US public schooling. This research agenda contributes to, and draws on, grassroots struggles challenging racialized policing, war, and empire, particularly in collaboration with community organizations like Vigilant Love. Nicole teaches classes on the school-prison nexus, alternatives to incarceration, and qualitative writing. From 2018 to 2022, she led the College's Creating Cultural Competencies initiative, which included curricula and teacher workshops related to countering anti-Muslim racism in schools and classrooms. With Dan Cohen and Alice Huff, she co-created the Critical Geographies of Education specialty group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), which works to promote, organize, and advance critical geographic explorations of education and schooling; support the scholarly growth of critical geographers of education; and contribute to social movements related to struggles over schooling.
- 2017 Globe Book Award, American Association of Geographers
- Reviewed in: American Journal of Sociology, Contemporary Sociology, Educational Review, Security Journal, The Canadian Geographer, Teachers College Record, Anthropology & Education, H-Net, and Race & Class
Nguyen, N. (2019). Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- 2020 Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award honorable mention, Association of Humanist Sociology
- Reviewed in: Contemporary Sociology, Ethnic & Racial Studies, and Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
Nguyen, N. (in press). Terrorism on Trial: Political Violence and Abolitionist Futures. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Nguyen, N. & Zahzah, Y. (2023). Rethinking the Beirut bombing, rethinking terrorism: Theorizing counterviolence. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 16(1), 263-286.
- Nguyen, N. & Zahzah, Y. (2021). “Make fascism great again!”: Mapping the conceptual work of ‘fascism’ in the war on terror. Critical Ethnic Studies, 7(1).
- Nguyen, N. (2021). Carceral care work: Strengthening policing through the provision of social services. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 20(6), 579-596.
- Nguyen, N. (2021). Rethinking activist educational research: Definitions, methodologies, and ethics. Critical Studies in Education, 62(2), 258-273.
- Lizotte, C.* & Nguyen, N. (2020). Schooling from the classroom to the state: Understanding schools as geopolitical sites. Environment and Planning C: Politics & Space, 38(5), 920-937.
- Nguyen, N. (2020). On geopolitics and education: Interventions, possibilities, and future directions. Geography Compass, 14(9), 1-11.
- Nguyen, N. (2020). Oppositional research: Negotiating risks and relationships when studying up. Society & Space Magazine.
- Nguyen, N. (2019). “The eyes and ears on our frontlines”: Policing without police to counter violent extremism, Surveillance & Society, 17(3/4), 322-337.
- Waitoller, F., Nguyen, N., & Super, G.* (2019). The irony of rigor: Understanding steering away practices in charter schools, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 32(3), 282-298.
- Nguyen, N. (2018). Educating force multipliers: Constructing terrorism in a US public high school, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 39(6), 841-855.
- Nguyen, N. (2018). “That’s just my own homeland security instinct”: Teaching terror in times of war, Critical Military Studies, 4(1), 17-33.
- Nguyen, N., Cohen, D.* & Huff, A.* (2017). Catching the bus: A call for critical geographies of education. Geography Compass, 11(8).
- Nguyen, N. (2017). From school militarization to school securitization: National security finds its place in schools, Critical Studies in Education, 58(1), 52-68.
- Nguyen, N. (2015). Chokepoint: Regulating student mobility through biometrics, Political Geography, 46, 1-10.
- Nguyen, N. (2014). Education as warfare?: Mapping securitized education interventions as war on terror strategy, Geopolitics, 19(1), 109-139.
- Nguyen, N. (2013). Scripting ‘safe’ schools: Mapping urban education and zero tolerance during the long war, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 35(4), 277-297.
- Nguyen, N. (2023). Jihad goes to court: The invocation of religious idioms in terrorism prosecutions. In C. Gunther, R. Doerre, & S. Pfeifer (Eds), Disentangling jihad, political violence, and media. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Nguyen, N. & Zahzah, Y. (2022). “Make fascism great again!”: Mapping the conceptual work of ‘fascism’ in the war on terror. In A. Goldstein & S. V. Trujillo (Eds.), For antifascist futures: Against the violence of imperial crisis. New York, NY: Common Notions.
- Nguyen, N. (2022). Embodying the US security state. In C. Charalambous & E. McCluskey (Eds.), Security, ethnography, discourse: Transdisciplinary approaches to everyday unease. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
- Nguyen, N. (2020). The school-security nexus and the changing geographies of the state. In A. E. Jonas, N. Koch, C. Lizotte, J. Luukkonen, & S. Moisio (Eds.), Handbook on the changing geographies of the state: New spaces of geopolitics. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Nguyen, N. & Kaufman, E.* (2019). Biometric technologies. In B. Warf (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Nguyen, N., Nastasi, A.W., Mejia, A., Stanger, A., & Madden, M. (2016). Epistemic friendships: Collective knowledges and feminist praxis (postscript by Chandra T. Mohanty). In E.H. Chowdhury & L. Philipose (Eds.), Dissident friendships: Imperialism, feminism, and the possibility of transnational solidarities. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.
- Nguyen, N. (2022). Published roundtable: Police reform in global perspective. In conversation with Mara Revkin (Duke University), Hayal Akarsu (Utrecht University), Monica Bell (Yale Law School), Joanna Gilmore (University of York), Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (University of Toronto), Omar Sirri (University of Toronto), and Alex Vitale (CUNY Graduate Center). New York, NY: The Century Foundation.
- Nguyen, N. (2022). Published roundtable: Studies of policing should extend to communities and across borders. In conversation with Hayal Akarsu (Utrecht University) and Alex Vitale (CUNY Graduate Center). New York, NY: The Century Foundation.
Invited Book Reviews
- (2023). Rethinking Islamophobia: Race, empire, and Islam in a global context. The Rise of Global Islamophobia in the War on Terror: Coloniality, Race, and Islam, edited by Naved Bakali and Farid Hafez; Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: 20 Years after 9/11, by Deepa Kumar. Middle East Journal, 77(1), 97-100.
- (2021). Journal of Palestine Studies: Joseph Pugliese (2020), Biopolitics of the more-than-human: Forensic ecologies of Violence, Duke University Press.
- (2018). Contemporary Sociology: Sabina Vaught (2017), Compulsory: Education and the dispossession of youth in a prison school, University of Minnesota Press.
(2021). Collective Intellectualities podcast (Philosophy of Education Society of Australia), Security, geopolitics, and education (research interview).
(2020). Europe Now (journal by the Council for European Studies, issue 34), Putting the ‘critical’ in geographies of education: An interview with Dan Cohen, Alice Huff, and Nicole Nguyen.
(2023). Scripps News, Tension is building between Arab-Americans and police near Chicago (media interview).
(2022). We Act Radio, Conversations toward repair: Surveillance and fear-fueled ‘safety’ demands (media interview).
(2022). Wallet Hub, 2022’s states with the best and worst education systems (media interview).
(2022). Kerning Cultures podcast, Operation Boulder (media interview).
(2021). New Books podcast, Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror (book interview).
(2021). Truthout, 20 years after Patriot Act, surveillance of Arabs and Muslims is relentless (news interview).
(2021). NowThis Politics, The Department of Homeland Security, explained (media interview).
(2021). Wallet Hub, States with the most and least equitable schools.
(2021). South Side Weekly. Private eyes. (media interview).
(2021). Jadaliyya, Including Arab Americans in the Biden administration is not enough (media interview).
(2021). Citations Needed podcast, The house always wins: How crisis narratives enrich the security and carceral state (research interview).
(2020). Against the Grain, KPFA radio, Community-level counterterrorism (book interview).
(2020) Chicago Reporter, As Trump relaunches Countering Violent Extremism, records on past Illinois program reveal links to FBI, law enforcement (news interview and background research).
(2020). Wallet Hub, States with the best and worst schools (news interview)
(2020). Chicago Reporter, Bernie Sanders endorses former head of controversial state counterterrorism program (news interview)
(2020). Rising Up with Sonali, KPFA radio, Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror (book interview)
(2019). Vice, 2020 candidates want to fund a program used to surveil Muslims on social media (news interview)
(2019). Chicago Reporter, Report: Illinois’ Countering Violent Extremism programs struggle to gain community partners (news interview)
(2019). WBEZ Worldview, Do anti-extremism tactics harm Muslim and Arab communities? (news interview)
(2018). Chicago Reader, The problem with the ‘public health’ approach to ideological violence. (news interview)
(2017). In These Times, We can’t fight Trump-style hate with the surveillance state (news interview)
(2017). Chicago Tonight, Chicago group opposing neo-Nazis planned to target jihadists, too (news interview)
(2017). Wallet Hub, 2017’s states with the most at-risk youth (news interview)
(2017). Chicago Tonight, Recruiting America’s future hackers – On Chicago’s west side (news interview)
(2017). Voice of America, US groups focused on ‘countering violent extremism’ still waiting for funds (news interview)
(2017). Chicago Tonight, Illinois agency awarded controversial counter-extremism grant (news interview)
(2017). Against the Grain, KPFA radio, book interview
(2016). The Majority Report, book interview (interview begins at 13:25)
(2016). Rising Up with Sonali, KPFA radio, book interview
(2016). Pacific Standard, book feature with an interview
(2016). Alternet, book feature
(2016). New Books in Education, book interview
- Nguyen, N. (2023). Political psychiatry: Political mental health beyond Guantánamo. Los Angeles: Vigilant Love.
- Nguyen, N. & Zahzah, Y. (2020). A toolkit for social justice advocates: Why treating white supremacy as domestic terrorism won’t work and how not to fall for it. Los Angeles, LA: Vigilant Love.
- Nguyen, N. (2020). Criminalizing mental health: A report on antiterrorism initiatives in Illinois. Chicago, IL: American Friends Service Committee.
- Nguyen, N. & Southorn, D. (2019). Suspected and surveilled: A report on Countering Violent Extremism in Chicago. Chicago, IL: American Friends Service Committee.
- Nguyen, N. & Krueger, S.* (2016). Letter to Congress. (cited by the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine).
- Nguyen, N. (2016). When Homeland Security goes to school: A close encounter with the new normal imposed by the global war on terror, University of Minnesota Press Blog.
- Nguyen, N. (2015). Education scholars: Challenging racial injustice begins with us [commentary], Education Week, 34(36).
- Nguyen, N. (2014). Homeland security goes to school, The Feminist Wire. (reprinted in Truth-Out)
- Nguyen, N. & Catania, R.T. (2014). On feeling depleted: Naming, confronting, and surviving oppression in the academy, The Feminist Wire.
(* indicates graduate students)
2014 - PhD, Syracuse University, Cultural Foundations of Education
2010 - MA, New York University, International Education/Education in Emergencies
2008 - BA, Syracuse University, English Education and English & Textual Studies