Najwa Mayer is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Yale University, where she also completed her Master’s concentration in Public Humanities. She received her BA in Literature at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently completing her dissertation, Muslim Americana in Formation and Circulation: 21st Century Muslim American Popular Cultures and Emerging Visual Vernaculars. Her dissertation brings together theoretical work in the studies of Genre, Performance, and Visual Culture to read three contemporary genres of prolific Muslim American activity: taqwacore(or, Muslim punk), standup comedy, and graphic literature.
Historically situated within the multinational War on Terror project, her work examines the aesthetic economies of Muslim artists in relation to their insecure subjectivities. She also compares the varying investments of nation-states, Islamic institutions, media networks, and North American Muslim cultural producers and consumers in producing and globally circulating Muslim American cultural and racial identities via commoditized and aestheticized cultural products.