Nico Slate

Associate Professor
Ph.D.: Harvard University, 2009
Department Member Since: 2009


Nico Slate’s research and teaching focus on the history of social movements in the United States and India. His first book, Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012), argues that South Asians and African Americans learned from each other in ways that advanced their struggles for freedom. His most recent book, Black Power Beyond Borders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) is an edited volume that tracks the global dimensions of the Black Power movement.

Dr. Slate is currently at work on three books: a study of race, racial mixture, and the idea of the post-racial amongst mid-twentieth century African American artists and intellectuals; a biography of Mahatma Gandhi focused on his diet; and a history of connections between India and the United States. He is the founder and director of the Bajaj Rural Development Lab and the Social Change Semester, and is a regular contributor to the Arts Greenhouse, a hip hop education program that promotes the artistic and educational development of Pittsburgh teenagers.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in California's Mojave Desert, Dr. Slate earned degrees in Earth Systems and the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford University and in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University before completing his Ph.D. in History at Harvard University.

selected Publications

Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012)
Black Power Beyond Borders, an edited volume (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
“Race as Freedom: How Cedric Dover and Barack Obama Became Black,” Racial and Ethnic Studies 35 (2012): 1-19.
"Do Revolutions Needs Passports? From Gandhi to King to the Arab Spring" Berfrois (January 19, 2012)
“The Borders of Race and Nation,” in Philip Muehlenbeck, ed. Race, Ethnicity, and the Cold War (Vanderbilt University Press, forthcoming)
“Glorious Burdens: Teaching Obama’s History and the Long Civil Rights Movement,” The History Teacher 44, no. 4 (August 2011): 591-600.
“Translating Race and Caste,” The Journal of Historical Sociology 24, no. 1 (March 2011): 62-79.
“A Coloured Cosmopolitanism: Cedric Dover’s Reading of the Afro-Asian World,” in Sugata Bose and Kris Manjapra, editors. Cosmopolitan Thought Zones: South Asia and the Global Circulation of Ideas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
“‘I am a coloured woman’: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya in the United States, 1939-41,” Contemporary South Asia 17, no. 1 (March 2009): 7-19.
“Rozzell Sykes,” in The African American National Biography, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, editors (Oxford University Press, 2008).
“The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial,” Exhibition Review, The Journal of American History 93 (Dec. 2006), 830-833.

Courses Taught

Barack Obama and the History of Race in America
India / America: Democracy, Diversity, Development
Gandhi and King: Nonviolent Leadership in a Globalized World
The Civil Rights Movement and the World
Sustainable Social Change: History and Practice
India Today: Economics, Technology, and People
India in the World: A History of Globalization
Innovation and Social Change

Contact Info

Department of History
Baker Hall 365
P: 412.268.1408
F: 412.268.1019