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Virtual Conference: Technologies of Power

Announcements, Public Humanities

September 9, 2021

This year, as the US surpasses half a million deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic fascists attempt a coup, the country will also mark the 20th anniversary of the US-led Global War on Terror. How did global and national politics coalesce into this present?

Through the work of scholars, writers and activists, Technologies of Power: Tracing Empire at Home and Abroad explores how technologies of power and empire have shaped multiple terrains domestically and transnationally. The wars ‘over there’ have a lot to tell us about struggles ‘over here’— and vice versa.

From imperial projects that devastated entire regions in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to the domestic expansion of explicit white supremacy, surveillance, and policing, US technologies of power have generated a multidirectional and dialectical relationship between foreign wars and domestic issues.

Funded by the Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant at Columbia University, Technologies of Power will encourage intersectional conversations on race, empire, technologies, and policing that break the boundaries between ‘foreign’ and ‘domestic,’ ‘abroad’ and ‘home,’ ‘technology’ and ‘power.’

7 conversations. 21 scholars, writers, and activists. The conference is organized by Madiha Tahir & and recent Columbia University graduate student Adrien Zakar in collaboration with Columbia University faculty member Marwa Elshakry, SOF/Heyman Board Member Manan Ahmed & former SOF/Heyman Board Member Brinkley Messick.

The first event is on September 10th, and then 12pm-1:30pm EST every other Friday.

Speakers & Panels

INTIMACY - 09/10

Nick Estes, Moazzam Begg, Caren Kaplan


Samar Al-Bulushi, Darryl Li, John Muthyala

PLACE - 10/08

Kate Chandler, Brittany Meché, Eli Nelson


Helga Tawil-Souri, Darren Byler, Charlton McIlwain

OPACITY - 11/05

Simone Browne, Nada Shabout, Ronak Kapadia

TRACE - 11/19

Priya Satia, Zainab Bahrani, Rosie Bsheer

MEMORY - 12/03

Sarah Hamid, Emran Feroz, Majd Al-Shihabi