Maryam Griffin

Associate Professor

Maryam Griffin

B.A. Political Science, UCLA
J.D. with Critical Race Studies Specialization, UCLA School of Law
M.A. Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Ph.D. Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Office Number: UW2-214
Mailing Box: 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


My research, teaching and service work aims to activate the most transformational possibilities of education: to generate knowledge that offers more precise diagnoses of the world’s problems and, as importantly, that develops insights about how to achieve justice.


As an educator, I seek to broaden students’ perspectives in ways that are responsible to global justice struggles. Through my course design, I encourage students to treat marginalized voices, personal narratives, and hidden histories as valuable sources of knowledge.

I approach teaching with a conviction that the space of the classroom is not so cleanly separated from the broader world; we are community members when we are on campus just as we are scholars when we move about our lives off-campus. As such, I encourage students to connect the information and ideas we engage in class with the thoughts and experiences they have accumulated beyond the classroom.

At its core, my teaching harnesses educational tools to empower students. This involves developing students’ capacity to take responsibility for their own learning, to participate in the production of knowledge, and to engage ideas in both critical and socially responsible ways. Rooted in my conviction that learning is a fundamentally social act, I cultivate opportunities for collaboration as a supportive and dynamic way to develop students’ critical thinking skills. I ask that students come to class with a genuine intellectual curiosity and a generous respect for those around them. It is my hope that the scholarly tools we hone together remain with students long after they leave my class.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 279 Introduction to Law and Society
BIS 353 Human Rights in Theory and Practice
BIS 414 Special Topics in Human Rights: Freedom of Movement


My research agenda examines the interactions between state power and people’s movements, both physical and social. I am particularly interested in highlighting the resilience and genius of ordinary people who navigate terrains of intensifying state control and forge new models for living their lives in peace. These legacies are empowering because they prove that people have long figured out ways of working together to survive catastrophes and will continue to do so.

My first solo-authored monograph examines Palestinian public transportation in the West Bank as a productive site of social struggle, where popular demands for freedom are expressed through implied and overt challenges to settler colonialism. I previously published a study about the way college students of Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA, sometimes called “Middle Eastern and North African”) descent organized to change the way they are officially racially counted from white to SWANA in order to better reflect their lived experiences. I also co-edited a collection of testimonies from U.S.-based academics about their experiences being targeted by silencing campaigns for their support of Palestinian rights.

Selected Publications

  • “Looking for Munir Haddad in Haifa,” submission accepted. In Sharif, L., Kelly, J., and Sen, S. (Eds.), Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Palestine. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Vehicles of Decolonization: Public Transit in the Palestinian West Bank. 2021. Temple University Press (Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Relationality series).
  • “Transcending Enclosures by Bus: Public Transit Protests, Frame Mobility, and the Many Facets of Colonial Occupation.” 2020. Critique of Anthropology. Vol 40(3), 298-322.
  • “Of Boxes and Pen: Forged and Forging Racial Categories at a Wartime U.S. University” in Arshad I. Ali & Tracy L. Buenavista, Eds., Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America’s Public Schools. 2018. Fordham University Press.
  • Review of Race in the Shadow of Law: State violence in contemporary Europe by Eddie Bruce-Jones. Oct. 2017. Race & Class 59(2).
  • Co-edited with William I. Robinson. We Will Not Be Silenced: The Academic Repression of Israel’s Critics. 2017. AK Press (U.S.) and Pluto Press (U.K.).
  • “Freedom Rides in Palestine: Racial Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus.” 2015. Race & Class