Faculty & Staff

Nicole Nguyen

Assistant Professor

Nicole Nguyen is Assistant Professor of Social Foundations of Education. Immersed in political geography, critical education studies, and critical sociology, Nicole's research ethnographically investigates the intersections of national security, war, and US public schooling. Nicole teaches classes on the criminalization of youth in urban schools, school militarization, and the sociology of education. 


PhD, Syracuse University, Cultural Foundations of Education

MA, New York University, International Education

Selected Publications


Nguyen, N. (2016). A curriculum of fear: Homeland security in US public schoolsMinneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

   2017 Globe Book Award, American Association of Geographers

   Reviewed in: American Journal of Sociology, Contemporary SociologyEducational Review, Security Journal, The Canadian Geographer, Teachers College Record, Anthropology & Education, H-Netand Race & Class

Nguyen, N. (forthcoming). The enemy within. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Refereed Articles 

Nguyen, N. (in press). Educating force multiplers: Constructing terrorism in a US public high schoolDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 

Nguyen, N. (2018). "That's just my own homeland security instinct": Teaching terror in times of warCritical Military Studies, 4(1), 17-33. 

Nguyen, N., Cohen, D.* & Huff, A.* (2017). Catching the bus: A call for critical geographies of education. Geography Compass, 11(8).

Nguyen, N. (2017). From school militarization to school securitization: National security finds its place in schoolsCritical Studies in Education, 58(1), 52-68.

Nguyen, N. (2015). Chokepoint: Regulating student mobility through biometricsPolitical Geography, 46, 1-10.

Nguyen, N. (2014). Education as warfare?: Mapping securitized education interventions as war on terror strategyGeopolitics, 19(1), 109-139.

Nguyen, N. (2013). Scripting ‘safe’ schools: Mapping urban education and zero tolerance during the long warReview of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 35(4), 277-297.

Refereed Book Chapters

Nguyen, N., Nastasi, A.W., Mejia, A., Stanger, A., & Madden, M. (2016). Epistemic friendships: Collective knowledges and feminist praxis (postscript by Chandra T. Mohanty). In E.H. Chowdhury & L. Philipose (Eds.), Dissident friendships: Imperialism, feminism, and the possibility of transnational solidaritiesChampaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Invited Book Reviews

(2018). Contemporary Sociology: Sabina Vaught (2017), Compulsory: Education and the dispossession of youth in a prison school, University of Minnesota Press.


(2017). In These Times, We can't fight Trump-style hate with the surveillance state (news interview)

(2017). Chicago Tonight, Chicago group opposing neo-Nazis planned to target jihadists, too (news interview)

(2017). Wallet Hub, 2017’s states with the most at-risk youth (news interview) 

(2017). Chicago Tonight, Recruiting America’s future hackers – On Chicago’s west side (news interview) 

(2017). Voice of America, US groups focused on ‘countering violent extremism’ still waiting for funds (news interview) 

(2017). Chicago TonightIllinois agency awarded controversial counter-extremism grant (news interview)

(2017). Againist the Grain, KPFA radio, book interview

(2016). The Majority Reportbook interview (interview begins at 13:25)

(2016). Rising Up with Sonali, KPFA radio, book interview

(2016). Pacific Standardbook feature with an interview

(2016). Alternetbook feature

(2016). New Books in Educationbook interview


Nguyen, N. & Krueger, S.* (2016). Letter to Congress. (cited by the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine).

Nguyen, N. (2016). When Homeland Security goes to school: A close encounter with the new normal imposed by the global war on terrorUniversity of Minnesota Press Blog. 

Nguyen, N. (2015). Education scholars: Challenging racial injustice begins with us [commentary], Education Week, 34(36).

Nguyen, N. (2014). Homeland security goes to schoolThe Feminist Wire. (reprinted in Truth-Out)

Nguyen, N. & Catania, R.T. (2014). On feeling depleted: Naming, confronting, and surviving oppression in the academy, The Feminist Wire

(* indicates graduate students)

Honors & Awards


Globe Book Award, American Association of Geographers

Professional Affiliations & Activities

Courses Taught

ED 200: Educational Policy Foundations

ED 294: The Criminalization of Youth in Urban Schools (undergradute)

EDPS 543: The Criminalization of Youth in Urban Schools (graduate)

EDPS 572: Sociology of Education

EDPS 596: School Militarization



Social Foundations of Education doctoral program co-coordinator

Policy Studies Doctoral Student Writing Group faculty advisor

Undergraduate Course Committee member


Doctoral Program Steering Committee member

Student Writing Subcommittee member

Summer Writing Retreat faculty organizer


Arab American Cultural Center advisory board member

Asian American Resource and Cultural Center advisory board member

Honors College faculty fellow

Race and Empire Working Group facilitator

Sawyer Seminar Working Group member


American Association of Geographers, Critical Geographies of Education Speciality Group co-founder and co-chair

New York University, International Education Alumni Council ambassador

Syracuse University, School of Education Board of Visitors member


Political Geography

Educational Policy

Urban Education

Society & Space

Educational Studies

Curriculum Inquiry

Journal of International Relations and Development

Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy

Educational Policy Analysis Archives

Asia Pacific Journal of Education

IET Biometrics


Cambridge University Press

Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association

American Association of Geographers

American Educational Studies Association

National Women's Studies Association

American Studies Association