About

Image of Donna A AustonDonna Auston is a doctoral candidate in the department of Anthropology at Rutgers University, where she also received her B.A. in Linguistics and Africana Studies.  Her research interests include examinations of race, ethnicity, gender, the body, phenomenology and embodiment, religion, language, media representation, and Islam in America. Her dissertation is an ethnographic exploration of spirituality and protest through an examination of Black Muslim life in the era of Black Lives Matter. She has been researching and writing about the history and experiences of American Muslims for many years, with particular focus on the African American Muslim community.  She has a book chapter entitled “Color Me Invisible: The Hidden Legacy of African American Muslims,” which appears in The Black Experience in America, Second Edition (Gayle T. Tate & Edward Ramsamy eds).  Her forthcoming book chapters include works on the intersections between Islamophobia and Black Lives Matter, on African American Muslim women working as professional undertakers, and a study of the Nation of Islam’s religious transition in the aftermath of Elijah Muhammad’s passing in 1975. She has also published a number of short essays, including, “Mapping the Intersections of Islamophobia and #BlackLivesMatter: Unearthing Black Muslim Life and Activism in the Policing Crisis,” “On Victim-Blaming: Reflections On Domestic Violence, Gaza, and the NYPD,” and “Recalled to Life: On the Meaning and Power of a Die-In“.  In addition to her written scholarship, she lectures regularly at universities and other venues on subjects relating to her research. She has appeared on television and radio outlets including Al Jazeera and BBC World Radio, and her work has received coverage from national media outlets including NBC News and The Huffington Post. Her editorials have appeared in Anthropology Now, Religion News Service, and The Washington Post.