Photo of Nguyen, Nicole

Nicole Nguyen

Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Education

Coordinator of PhD Social Foundations of Education

Educational Policy Studies


Building & Room:

3406 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (MC 147), Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 996-5660


Nicole Nguyen (she/her) is associate professor of social foundations of education. As a critical geographer of education, Nicole 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. She also leads the College's Creating Cultural Competencies initiative, which includes curricula and teacher workshops related to countering anti-Muslim racism in schools and classrooms.



2014 - PhD, Syracuse University, Cultural Foundations of Education

2010 - MA, New York University, International Education/Education in Emergencies

2008 - BA, Syracuse University, English Education and English & Textual Studies



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

Nguyen, N. (2019). Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nguyen, N. (under contract). Terrorism on Trial: Armed Struggle, Globalized Punishment, and Abolition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Refereed Articles 

Book Chapters

Invited Book Reviews

Academic Interviews

(2021). Collective Intellectualities podcast (Philosophy of Education Society of Australia), Security, geopolitics, and education (research interview).

(2020). Europe Now (journal by the Council for European Studies, issue 34), Putting the ‘critical’ in geographies of education: An interview with Dan Cohen, Alice Huff, and Nicole Nguyen.


(2021). New Books podcast, Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror (book interview).

(2021). Truthout, 20 years after Patriot Act, surveillance of Arabs and Muslims is relentless (news interview).

(2021). NowThis Politics, The Department of Homeland Security, explained (media interview).

(2021). Wallet Hub, States with the most and least equitable schools.

(2021). South Side Weekly. Private eyes. (media interview).

(2021). Jadaliyya, Including Arab Americans in the Biden administration is not enough (media interview).

(2021). Citations Needed podcast, The house always wins: How crisis narratives enrich the security and carceral state (research interview).

(2020). Against the Grain, KPFA radio, Community-level counterterrorism (book interview).

(2020) Chicago Reporter, As Trump relaunches Countering Violent Extremism, records on past Illinois program reveal links to FBI, law enforcement (news interview and background research).

(2020). Wallet Hub, States with the best and worst schools (news interview)

(2020). Chicago Reporter, Bernie Sanders endorses former head of controversial state counterterrorism program (news interview)

(2020). Rising Up with Sonali, KPFA radio, Suspect communities: Anti-Muslim racism and the domestic war on terror (book interview)

(2019). Vice, 2020 candidates want to fund a program used to surveil Muslims on social media (news interview)

(2019). Chicago Reporter, Report: Illinois’ Countering Violent Extremism programs struggle to gain community partners (news interview)

(2019). WBEZ Worldview, Do anti-extremism tactics harm Muslim and Arab communities? (news interview)

(2018). Chicago Reader, The problem with the ‘public health’ approach to ideological violence. (news interview)

(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



(* indicates graduate students)



Globe Book Award, American Association of Geographers

Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award honorable mention, Association of Humanist Sociology


Courses Taught

ED 200: Educational Policy Foundations

ED 373: Introduction to the School-Prison Nexus

EDPS 543: The Criminalization of Youth in Urban Schools

EDPS 572: Sociology of Education

EDPS 596: Writing a Qualitative Dissertation




Social Foundations of Education doctoral program co-coordinator

Policy Studies Doctoral Student Writing Group faculty advisor

Undergraduate Course Committee member


Graduate Student Interest Group Urban Anthology faculty advisor

Doctoral Program Steering Committee member

Student Writing Subcommittee member

Summer Writing Retreat faculty organizer


Faculty Senate member

Graduate College Executive Committee member

Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Asian Americans member

Arab American Cultural Center advisory board member

Asian American Resource and Cultural Center advisory board member

Honors College Honors Council member

Race and Empire Working Group facilitator

Sawyer Seminar Working Group member


American Association of Geographers, Critical Geographies of Education Specialty Group co-founder and secretary

New York University, International Education Alumni Council ambassador

Syracuse University, School of Education Board of Visitors member


Vigilant Love, Steering Committee member


Political Geography

Educational Policy

Urban Education

Society & Space

Educational Studies

Curriculum Inquiry

Journal of Education Policy

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

Children's Geographies

Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

Acta Sociologica

NYU Press


Cambridge University Press

West Virginia University Press

University of Georgia Press


Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association

American Association of Geographers

American Educational Studies Association

National Women's Studies Association

American Studies Association