'What Happened Here is Not Right': A Critical Oral History of Post-9/11 Detention and Surveillance

A Muslim woman looking down.
Seed Grant Semester Awarded
Seed Grant Award Year

This project presents the first-ever collection of oral histories of individuals who experienced the mass repressive government actions directed against Muslim Americans and minority immigrants from 2001 to the present. The project gathers and analyzes intimate, first-person accounts from those detained without being charged with a crime, often for months and years, as well as government officials, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel and members of affected communities. The project presents a portrait of the lived experiences of post-9/11 mass detention and surveillance, illustrating the essential role of narrative for understanding the individual, community and broad social impact of systematic domestic repression designed to protect U.S. security.

Grant funds will be used to expand on initial research to prepare at least one major grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities, while also organizing an interdisciplinary mini-conference linked to the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 and several additional events focused on policy issues that link ASU with communities impacted by these actions. These efforts will also include ASU networking and collaborative opportunities and will lead to at least one academic article and one publicly oriented article, alongside plans for a scholarly volume presenting humanities-based analyses of the collected testimonies.

Principal Investigator(s)

Anand Gopal | Assistant Research Professor, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

Daniel Rothenberg | Professor of Practice, School of Politics and Global Studies; Co-director, Center on the Future of War