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 five books: Brothers: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Race (Temple University Press, 2023); Lord Cornwallis Is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 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), and co-editor, with Professor Harald Fischer-Tiné, of Indo-US Entanglements: The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonisation (Leiden University Press, 2022).
Dr. Slate is currently at work on three books. The Art of Freedom: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and the Making of Modern India (under contract with Penguin Random House India) narrates the life and work of one of India’s most dedicated antiracist activists, a key figure in India’s anticolonial struggle, a prominent advocate of women’s rights, a founding member of colonial India’s most important socialist party, and one of the most influential supporters of the arts in post-independence India. A Peculiar Lucidity: Surviving the 1918 Pandemic offers a collective biography of seven people who survived the 1918-19 influenza pandemic: an American writer, a British statesman, an Indian freedom fighter, a Norwegian painter, an American artist, a Bohemian writer, and a Canadian actress. Truth and Power: The Highlander Folk School and the Radical Civil Rights Movement provides a grassroots intellectual history of the struggle against American racism, a history grounded in some 100 hours of audio recordings of civil rights workshops conducted at an integrated educational institution in the hills of Tennessee. In addition to these books, Dr. Slate is currently co-editing, with Professor Rajeshwari Dutt, a volume entitled India in the World: 1500-Present, which is currently under contract at Routledge.
Dr. Slate is the faculty director of LEAP, a program for high school students who are passionate about the arts, humanities, and social sciences. 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.
EducationPh.D.: Harvard University, 2009
Brothers: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Race (Temple University Press, 2023)
- Lord Cornwallis Is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 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).
- Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012)
- Indo-US Entanglements: The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonisation (Leiden University Press, 2022), co-edited with with Professor Harald Fischer-Tiné
- Black Power Beyond Borders, an edited volume (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Articles and Book Chapters
- “The Geography of Nonviolence: The United Nations, The Highlander Folk School, and the Borders of the Civil Rights Movement,” The American Historical Review 127, no. 4 (December 2022): 1659-1686
- “Between Utopia and Jim Crow: The Highlander Folk School, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Racial Borders of the Summer Camp, 1956-1961,” The Journal of American History 109, no. 3 (December 2022): 571-595
- “Voting as Theatre: Race, Suffrage, and the Staging of the Civil Rights Movement,” The Journal of African American History 107, no. 4 (Fall 2022): 575-599
- “The Radical Civil Rights Movement: The Highlander Folk School and the Legacies of the Left in Cold War America,” Past & Present (2022), https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtac008
- “‘The Answers Come From The People’: The Highlander Folk School and the Pedagogies of the Civil Rights Movement,” History of Education Quarterly 62, no. 2 (2022): 191-210
- “Debating Disadvantage: Self-Concept, The Civil Rights Movement, and Pre-College Programmes in the United States in the 1960s,” History of Education 51, no. 1 (2022): 114-134
- “The Drama of Nonviolence: Theatre as Education within the American Civil Rights Movement,” Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 27, no. 1 (2022): 73-87
- “Beauty and Power: Beauticians, the Highlander Folk School, and Women’s Professional Networks in the Civil Rights Movement,” Journal of Social History 55, no. 3 (2022): 744-768
- “Socialism and Civil Rights: The American Journeys of Rammanohar Lohia,” in Indo-US Entanglements: The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonization, edited by Harald Fischer-Tiné and Nico Slate (Leiden University Press, 2022), 163-186
- “A Dangerous Idea: Nonviolence as Tactic and Philosophy,” Modern Intellectual History 18, no. 4 (December 2021): 1130–1154
- “From Mealie Pap to Peanut Milk: The African Diaspora, Culinary Cosmopolitanism, and Mahatma Gandhi’s Evolving Views on Race and Diet,” Global Food History 4, no. 2 (2018): 226-244
- “‘We the People of Color’: Colored Cosmopolitanism and the Borders of Race,” in Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, Michael O’Brien, James T. Kloppenberg, and Joel Isaac, eds. The Worlds of American Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2016), 57-75
- “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): 305-331
- “From Colored Cosmopolitanism to Human Rights: A Historical Overview of the Transnational Black Freedom Struggle,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 1 no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 3-24
- “Race as Freedom: How Cedric Dover and Barack Obama Became Black,” Racial and Ethnic Studies 35 (2012): 1-19
- “The Borders of Black Power” and “The Dalit Panthers: Race, Caste, and Black Power in India,” in Black Power Beyond Borders, edited by Nico Slate (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 1-12 and 127-46.
- “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), 213-35
- “‘I am a coloured woman’: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya in the United States, 1939-41,” Contemporary South Asia 17, no. 1 (March 2009): 7-19, revised as “Becoming a Colored Woman: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and the African American Freedom Struggle,” in Vinay Lal and Ellen DuBois, eds., A Passionate Life: Writings by and on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (Zubaan Books, 2017), 375-400
- 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