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Faculty Spotlight

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Riyad A. Shahjahan, Associate Professor

Riyad A. Shahjahan is an Associate Professor of Higher, Adult and Life Long Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. While a core faculty member of Muslim Studies, he is also a faculty member of Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian Studies, and Center for Advanced Study of International Development. He takes a critical, philosophical, and interdisciplinary studies approach to studying issues in global higher education. His research draws from cultural studies, decolonial studies, critical race studies, affect theory, temporal studies, and sociology of education, and uses qualitative empirical research approaches. By conducting both theoretical and empirical work, he focuses on a) rethinking the traditional problems and solutions (objects of study/practice) in global higher education (e.g. globalization, curriculum and pedagogy, academic work, internationalization) from global, critical race, affect, and/or non-western perspectives, b) critically examining the role of commercial players and popular media in global university rankings; and c) unpacking the role of time in academic work and embodied wellness in global contexts. His research strives to illuminate the underlying explicit/implicit meanings and consequences of educational theory, practice, and policy in global higher education contexts, particularly as they intersect with colonial/power relations.

Some of his recent articles are entitled: "Being ‘lazy’ and slowing down", "Whiteness as futurity", "'Decolonizing' curriculum and pedagogy", "Bringing the 'nation-state' to being", and "Emoscapes and commercial university rankers". He has provided invited lectures and workshops in 28 different universities/centers around the world, and keynote addresses for the European Educational Research Association (EERA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). More recently, he has been featured in podcasts, fireside chats, and master classes on decolonization, critical internationalization, and race and racism, for academic and practitioner audience. His research has also been adopted in various anti-racist and inclusive training tool kits (e.g. Colorado State’s HE policy report), UNESCO reports, university course syllabi, and universities’ resources on decolonizing education globally. He is also co-editor of the blog: