Carnegie Mellon University

Nico Slate

Nico Slate

Professor of History and Department Head


Nico Slate’s research and teaching focus on the history of social movements in the United States and India. He is the author of four books: Lord Cornwallis Is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India (Harvard University Press in 2019); Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet: Eating with the World in Mind (University of Washington Press, 2019); The Prism of Race: W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and the Colored World of Cedric Dover (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012). He is also the editor of Black Power Beyond Borders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), a volume that tracks the global dimensions of the Black Power movement.
Dr. Slate is currently at work on two books: a study of race in Los Angeles after 1965 and a history of truth and power in the American civil rights movement. In his research and teaching, he loves asking questions like the following: What’s the relationship between truth and power? How can the history of democracy contribute to the future of democracy? How do social movements learn? And how do they teach? Why is there so much racism, xenophobia, and intolerance in our world and what can we do about it? How do universities contribute to inequality? How can they reduce inequality?

Dr. Slate is the founder and director of the Bajaj Rural Development Lab and Born in Los Angeles and raised in California's Mojave Desert, he 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.

To read more about Nico Slate, please visit his personal website.


Ph.D.: Harvard University, 2009


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

Department Member Since: 2009