Nihad M. Farooq

Associate Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Office Location: Skiles 358


Dr. Nihad M. Farooq is Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Duke University, a Joint M.A. in English & American Literature and Women’s Studies from Brandeis University, and an A.B. in English from Dartmouth College. Farooq’s interdisciplinary research approach moves between literary studies, American and Atlantic Studies, ethnic studies, and cultural studies of science and ethnography. Her first book, Undisciplined: Science, Ethnography, and Personhood in the Americas, 1830-1940 (New York University Press, 2016), investigates the transformative power of encounter between and among scientists and indigenous and diasporic populations in the Americas in the long nineteenth century. A second book manuscript in progress, tentatively entitled Roots in the Air: Precarious Freedoms in the Networked Atlantic, explores the role of enslaved women engaged in networked acts of resistance in the Black Atlantic in the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.



  • Ph.D., English, Duke University
  • Joint M.A. English, WST
  • A.B., English, Dartmouth College
Areas of
  • American Literature And Culture Of The Long Nineteenth Century
  • American Studies
  • Anthropologies Of Race & Science
  • Atlantic Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Race And Ethnic Studies


Research Fields:
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies


  • ENGL-1102: English Composition II
  • LCC-3112: Evolution&Industrial Age
  • LCC-3116: Sci, Tech& Postmodernism
  • LCC-3118: Sci, Tech&American Empire
  • LCC-3208: African-Amer Lit/Cult
  • LCC-3210: Ethnicity-Amer Culture
  • LCC-3306: Science,Technology& Race
  • LCC-3510: American Culture II
  • LCC-4102: Senior Thesis
  • LMC-2000: Intro-Lit, Media, & Comm
  • LMC-2350: Intro to Social Justice
  • LMC-3116: Sci Tech & Postmodernisms
  • LMC-3118: Sci Tech&American Empire
  • LMC-3202: Studies in Fiction
  • LMC-3208: African-Amer Lit/Cult
  • LMC-3210: Ethnicity American Cult
  • LMC-3212: Women, Lit & Culture
  • LMC-3316: Postcolonialism
  • LMC-3520: The Graphic Novel
  • LMC-4000: Senior Seminar in LMC
  • LMC-4000: Senior Seminar in LMC: Empire and the Atlantic World
  • LMC-4102: Senior Thesis
  • LMC-4200: Seminar Lit/Cult Theory: Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
  • LMC-8803: Special Topics: Transnational Networks
  • LMC-8910: Special Problems: Literary and Cultural Theory

Selected Publications


  • Undisciplined: Science, Ethnography, and Personhood in the Americas, 1830- 1940
    In: NYU Press: American and the Long Nineteenth Century Series.
    Date: 2016

    In the 19th century, personhood was a term of regulation and discipline through which slaves, criminals, and others, could be “made and unmade,” as scholars like Colin Dayan and others have argued. Yet it was precisely the fraught, uncontainable nature of personhood that necessitated its constant legislation, wherein its meaning could be both contested and controlled.                                                  

    Examining scientific and literary narratives, Farooq’s Undisciplined encourages an alternative consideration of personhood, one that emerges from evolutionary and ethnographic discourse. Moving chronologically from 1830 to 1940, Farooq explores the scientific and cultural entanglements of Atlantic travelers in and beyond the Darwin era, and invites us to attend more closely to the consequences of mobility and contact on disciplines and persons. Bringing together an innovative group of readings—from field journals, diaries, letters, and testimonies to novels, stage plays, and audio recordings—Farooq advocates for a reconsideration of science, personhood, and the priority of race for the field of American studies.  Whether expressed as narratives of acculturation, or as acts of resistance against the camera, the pen, or the shackle, these stories of the studied subjects of the Atlantic world add a new chapter to debates about personhood and disciplinarity in this era that actively challenged legal, social, and scientific categorizations.

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Book - Editors

Journal Articles