On the evening of Thursday, February 25, The Evergreen State College will welcome Deepa Kumar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Media Studies and affiliated faculty in Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. Kumar will offer a public presentation entitled, “In Search of Monsters to Destroy,” Islamophobia, the War on Terror and US Imperialism.
A well-known author who has spoken at dozens of university and community forums on Islamophobia, Political Islam, US foreign policy in the Middle East and women and Islam, Kumar has shared her expertise in media outlets that include BBC, The New York Times, NPR and USA Today. She began researching the politics of empire shortly after September 11, and her second book titled Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, examines ways in which the “Muslim enemy,” has historically been mobilized to suit the goals of empire.
In addition to Kumar’s free, public talk at 6:30p.m. in the Evergreen Longhouse, Kumar will participate with students in several academic programs at the college, as part of the Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series, an institution of the college since 1986.
Willi Unsoeld, for whom the series is named, achieved fame for his first ascent of Mt. Everest’s West Ridge in 1963. But Unsoeld is also remembered in Washington as a mentor, philosopher and founding faculty member at The Evergreen State College, who embodied the interdisciplinary spirit of the small liberal arts college. Past Unsoeld speakers have included Jim Hightower, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Terry Tempest Williams and Tom Hornbein.
Evergreen’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Michael Zimmerman said Kumar’s talk is timely and important for students and the broader community. “Particularly in the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, and in the face of the Islamophobia they generated, we believe Dr. Kumar will have much to teach us relevant to Willi Unsoeld’s mission, that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” said Zimmerman.