Nasim Fekrat is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UC Irvine. He also holds an M.A. in anthropology from UNC Charlotte (2020), an M.A. in religious studies from the University of Georgia (2018), and a B.A. in political science from Dickinson College (2013). He previously worked as a journalist.
Focusing on the theme of international security and political violence, Nasim’s project investigates the political and social roles that Hazaras took up under the U.S. occupation and how Hazara refugees understand themselves and their identities today in the aftermath of that occupation. Empirically, his project seeks to understand how foreign military intervention enabled them to achieve prominent social and political roles on the one hand but also intense resentment by Pashtun Afghans on the other. His project examines Hazara collective political subjectivity in light of U.S. occupation, which allowed for their (short-lived) liberation and also marked them as targets of Taliban-condoned retaliatory violence. His primary research question is: What is the relationship between Hazaras’ role in the U.S. occupation and their sense of belonging to the Hazara community, Afghanistan, and the U.S. as recent immigrants? Through semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and online ethnography with Hazara refugees, former politicians, and community organizations, his project will shed light on how the geopolitics of U.S. dominance shapes struggles for belonging among refugees in exile.
Proposal title: The Entangled Legacies of Afghanistan: Occupation, Exile, and Hazara Struggles for Belonging
Expertise & Interests
- Nationalism, racism, and genocide
- Ethnicity, gender, and war
- Diaspora, refugee, and transnationalism