Chouki El Hamel is a professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, specializing in West and Northwest Africa. His training and doctoral studies in France at the Centre de Recherches Africaines (University of Sorbonne, Paris I & VII) were in African history and Islamic societies. He taught courses in African history at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and at Duke University in Durham, N.C. In 2002, he was a scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City (NEH fellowship) and he was a visiting professor at Nice University, France in 2016. In the academic year of 2016-17, he was awarded a Fulbright grant for research in Morocco.
His research interests focus on the spread and the growth of Islamic culture and the evolution of Islamic institutions in Africa. He is particularly interested in the subaltern relationship of servile and marginalized communities to Islamic ruling institutions. His research into these relationships revolves around issues of power/class, slavery, race/ethnicity, gender and social justice. He published two books and many scholarly articles in academic journals and popular magazines. His most recent book is Black Morocco: a History of Slavery, Race, and Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013), which has won Honorable Mention for the L. Carl Brown American Institute for Maghrib Studies Book Prize. Over the past decade, he has actively participated in a wide variety of positions ranging from committee work to the faculty senate.
“KNOWLEDGE is something that will not give part of itself to you until you give your all to it, and when you give your all to it, then you stand a chance but you cannot be sure that it will give you that part.” (An-Nazzam as quoted by al-Jahiz).