Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2018 Issue »

    “Afghanistan is a silent bird. But I am an eagle”

    An Arts-Based Investigation of Nation and Identity in Afghan Youth

    Heddy Lahmann
    Western development organizations frequently target youth in conflict settings to participate in peaceful, cooperative activities to promote nation-building and deter violence. In this article, Heddy Lahmann examines the narratives of fifteen youth who participated in a US-funded nonformal arts education program in Afghanistan, which operated with the key objective of promoting national identity in its participants. Using open-ended interviews coupled with an arts-based research technique, Lahmann investigates how Afghan youth perceive their identity in relation to the nation. Her research indicates that national identity arguments do not adequately address other salient intersections of identity, such as an individual’s developmental stage in life and the significance of gender, and largely leave out the influence of colonialism on the way national identity is conceptualized in non-Western contexts. Lahmann argues that program designers and policy makers must incorporate the local knowledge and experiences of youth and address the unique needs of various groups, including marginalized populations and young women versus young men, to effectively engage them in education efforts.

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    Heddy Lahmann is a PhD candidate in New York University’s International Education program. Her research focuses on the use of creative arts for youth development and peace-building in conflict and crisis-affected settings. Her dissertation is a mixed-methods study of an educational theater program with youth in Afghanistan. She is interested in the ways arts education crops up in humanitarian settings; how and why it is employed, and with whom; the politics of its employment; and, finally, its measurable and immeasurable effects. Before her doctoral studies, she participated in arts-based humanitarian programming as an artist-practitioner with Clowns Without Borders.
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    Fall 2018 Issue


    Safe Routes to School?
    Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance in London and New York City
    Derron Wallace

    Book Notes

    Negotiating Opportunities
    Jessica McCrory Calarco

    “Why We Drop Out”
    Deborah L. Feldman, Antony T. Smith, and Barbara L. Waxman

    Mi Padre
    Sarah Gallo

    Making Up Our Mind
    Sigal Ben-Porath and Michael Johanek

    Suddenly Diverse
    Erica O. Turner

    Campus Counterspaces
    Micere Keels

    American Higher Education Since World War II
    Roger L. Geiger

    Talking About Leaving Revisited
    edited by Elaine Seymour and Anne-Barrie Hunter