Racialized Hauntings: Afghan Americans Navigating Racialized Religion and Belonging amidst the Forever War


ACLS Project Development Grants


Sociology & Interdisciplinary Social Sciences


Despite being one of the largest protracted refugee communities in the world, this manuscript will be the first in-depth study of Afghans in America, filling a knowledge gap about an overlooked Asian refugee community displaced by the US empire. Studies on Afghan experiences in the United States are limited, focusing almost entirely on first-generation mental health issues involving social, familial, and economic problems, thereby painting Afghan refugees as trauma victims. Few studies examine how first and second-generation Afghans continue to feel the impacts of imperial and racial trauma in their new homeland. In contrast, this project will consider second-generation Afghan American’s experiences with intergenerational trauma and challenges the framing of Afghans as victims of war, humanitarian crises, and psychological trauma by showing how first and second-generation Afghans navigate this imperial racialization while also carving out new narratives about their community based on resilience, activism, and community engagement.