I am a broadly trained historian of modern imperialism with a focus on the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region, an arena of intersecting cultural, economic, and religious frontiers. My book, Guardians of the Tradition: Historians and Historical Writing in Ethiopia and Eritrea (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2015), explores how local intellectuals used vernacular historiography and travel writing to understand modernity and its challenges. You can read review excerpts here. My current research examines the relationship between experts, counterinsurgency, and the international system, specifically focusing on colonial violence in Ethiopia. More generally, I am interested in microhistory, historical theory, and the intersecting histories of orientalism, anthropology, and area studies.
I am a contributing editor for the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and previously served as the managing editor of the journal Northeast African Studies. My research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the School for Advanced Research, and the PSC/CUNY. I am also an affiliate faculty member of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Here at CUNY John Jay, I teach "Imperialism in Africa and Asia," "Colonial Justice," "History of Orientalism," "Historical Research Methods," and the history senior thesis. I am also the advisor for the Middle East Studies Minor, so come see me about your courses, internship ideas, and post-graduation plans. My office hours change each semester, but you can always find them listed on the bulletin board in the History Department lobby.