People

Nico Slate

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

Biography

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. He is the editor of Black Power Beyond Borders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), a volume that tracks the global dimensions of the Black Power movement. His most recent book is The Prism of Race: W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and the Colored World of Cedric Dover (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The Prism of Race examines a crucial moment in the history of race through the lens of a self-described “Eurasian half-caste,” born in Calcutta in 1904, and his relationships with leading African American artists and intellectuals.

Dr. Slate is currently at work on three books: a study of race in Los Angeles after 1965; a biography of Mahatma Gandhi focused on his diet; and a history of connections between India and the United States from the 18th century to the present. He is the founder and director of the Bajaj Rural Development Lab, the Social Change Semester, and SocialChange101.org, 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).
The Prism of Race: W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and the Colored World of Cedric Dover (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
“Beyond the Mountain Top: Human Rights, Colored Cosmopolitanism, and the African American Freedom Struggle,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 1. no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015)
“East Indian, West Indian: Colored Cosmopolitanism, World Literature, and the Dual Autobiography of Cedric Dover and Claude McKay,” Modern Language Quarterly 76, no. 3 (September 2015)
“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)
“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.

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
slate@cmu.edu

Publications