Professor of Journalism and Media Studies



Deepa Kumar is an award-winning scholar, activist and public intellectual. She is the author of more than 80 publications including books, journal articles, book chapters, and articles in independent and mainstream media. She is internationally recognized as a leading scholar of race and anti-Muslim racism. Her book on Islamophobia has been translated into five languages; a second and completely revised edition was published in 2021 to mark 20 years of the War on Terror. She has been a leader in the Rutgers AAUP-AFT academic union. As president, she led the transition to an intersectional approach of unionism, centering race and gender equity. She is the inaugural co-chair of the University Committee on Diversity, Race and Gender and the inaugural chair of the STRIDE committee at Rutgers. She is a much sought out public intellectual who has shared her expertise in numerous media outlets such as the BBC, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Telesur, the Danish Broadcast Corporation, and other national and international media outlets. She has given 200+ media interviews.


University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Communication

Bowling Green State University
M.A., Mass Communication

Bangalore University
M.S., Mass Communication

St. Josephs College
B.S., Physics and Mathematics


Deepa Kumar's research centers on race, class, and gender with a focus on anti-Muslim racism, empire, neoliberalism, organized labor and culture and the media. Her first book, "Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization and the UPS Strike" (University of Illinois Press, 2007), is about the power of collective struggle in effectively challenging the priorities of neoliberalism.

She began her research into the racial politics of empire shortly after the tumultuous events of 9/11. Her second book, "Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire" (Haymarket Books, 2012), is about the racialized Muslim enemy and how it has sustained empire from the early modern era to the present with a particular focus is on the War on Terror. The first edition has been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Malayalam and Indonesian. A second and completely revised edition was published to mark twenty years of the War on Terror (Verso, 2021).

Her third book project, under contract with the University of California Press, is tentatively titled "Terrorcraft: Empire, Security and Race." It explores the relationship between security capitalism and regimes of racial control.

Selected Publications

Kumar, Deepa. Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: 20 Years Since 9/11, 2nd and fully revised edition (Verso, 2021).

Kumar, Deepa. Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike (University of Illinois Press, 2007, paperback 2008)

Kumar, Deepa. (2020). Terrorcraft: Empire and the Making of the Racialized terrorist threat, Race and Class, 62 (2), 34-60.

Lead Article: Kumar, Deepa. (2018). The right kind of “Islam”: News media representations of US-Saudi relations during the Cold War. Journalism Studies, 19 (8), 1079-1097.

Kumar, D. (2018). See something, say something: Security rituals, affect, and the construction of US nationalism. Public Culture, 30, (1), 143-171.

Awards & Recognitions

Social Justice Award, New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, 2022.

Marilyn Sternberg Award, American Association of University Professors (AAUP), for her "bold vision" and "courage" in leading the Rutgers AAUP-AFT as its president, 2019.

Dallas Smythe Award, Union for Democratic Communication (UDC), for engaged scholarship, 2016

Georgina M. Smith Award, American Association of University Professors (AAUP), for work on “making gender and race issues central" to union work, 2016

Additional Resources

Research Keywords