Michael A. Gomez
Professor of History, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
University of Chicago, PhD 1985
King Juan Carlos Center, Room 502
Field of Study:
Africa and African Diaspora
Areas of Research/Interest:
Islam, Slavery, Social and Cultural Formation
Michael A. Gomez is currently professor of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, having served as the director of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) from its inception in 2000 to 2007. He has also served as chair of the History departments at both NYU and Spelman College, and served as President of UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for the Slave Route Project from 2009 to 2011. His first book, Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu (Cambridge University Press, 1992), examines a Muslim polity in what is now eastern Senegal. The next publication, Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), is concerned with questions of culture and race as they were informed by the African presence and experience. Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2005) is primarily aimed at an undergraduate audience, and is more fully involved with the idea of an African diaspora, as is Diasporic Africa: A Reader (New York University Press, 2006), an edited volume that spans time and space in investigating a variety of themes and issues. Black Crescent: African Muslims in the Americas (Cambridge University Press, 2005, Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2006 Literary Awards Winner for Nonfiction Category), continues with the study of the African diaspora by looking at the ways in which African Muslims negotiated their bondage and freedom throughout the Americas, but in a way that allows for significant integration of Islamic Africa. Primarily a cultural and social historian of both Africa and its diaspora, Gomez is currently in the writing stages of a book on the history of early and medieval West Africa, with a focus on imperial Songhay. Upon its completion, he plans to write a comprehensive study of the African diaspora, within which he will address all attendant arguments and debates. Throughout, he will remain connected to the Arabic manuscript project underway in Mali, arguably one of the most important endeavors to develop in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He continues to work with these as well as other organizations invested in the struggles of people of African descent worldwide, and especially looks forward to exciting opportunities developing in Latin America.
Black Crescent: African Muslims in the Americas (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South (University of North Carolina Press, 1998).
Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu (Cambridge University Press, 1992).
Diasporic Africa: A Reader (New York University Press, 2006).
"Africans, Culture, and Islam in the Lowcountry." African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry. Edited volume. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010.
"The Anguished Igbo Response to Enslavement in the Americas." Repercussions of the African Slave Trade: The Interior of the Bight of Biafra and the African Diaspora. Edited by Carolyn A. Brown and Paul E. Lovejoy. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, Inc. 2010.
"Slavery in the Americas: A Survey of the Scholarship.” Origins: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience. Edited by Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University, 2008, 1-41.
"A Harvest for the People: P. Sterling Stuckey, Activist and Scholar.” Journal of African American History (91), Special Issue, Fall 2006: 367-371.
"Diasporic Africa: A View from History.” Diasporic Africa: A Reader. New York University Press, 2006.
"Of Du Bois and Diaspora: The Challenge of African American Studies.” Journal of Black Studies (35) November 2004: 175-194.
"A Quality of Anguish: The Igbo Response to Enslavement in the Americas." Trans-Atlantic Dimensions of Ethnicity in the African Diaspora. Edited by Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman. London: Continuum, 2003.
"The Preacher-Kings: W.E.B. Du Bois Revisited.” African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures. Edited by Vincent L. Wimbush. New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2000.
"African Identity and Slavery in the Americas.” Radical History Review (75) 1999: 111-120.