The core concern of this article is derived from my personal experience of being
stopped and questioned at Heathrow Airport on 28 March 2012 for possession of
“suspect materials”: academic books on terrorism. I seek to utilise this experience to reflect on how logics of counterterrorism can become manifested in bizarre and
prejudicial ways, and how autoethnography provides a unique means to articulate
human experiences of such logics. I further utilise my experience to reflect on the
dynamics of academic privilege, which often flourish at the expense of the voices of “ordinary citizens”, and argue that autoethnography can be embraced as an empowering form of self-expression through which “ordinary citizens” might de-subjugate themselves from the margins of academia towards an emancipatory ideal wherein the lived experiences of such citizens occupy a substantial space in academic and popular understandings of (counter)terrorism.
Heath-Kelly, C., Baker-Beall, C., Jarvis, L.