Aisha Khan, Associate Professor of Anthropology

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Ph.D 1995, City University of New York;
  • Office Address: Rufus D. Smith Hall 25 Waverly Place, 606 New York, NY 10003
  • Email:
  • Phone: 212-998-3751
  • Fax: 212-995-4014

Areas of Research/Interest

Caribbean, Latin America, race and ethnicity, religion (particularly obeah, Islam, Afro-Atlantic religions), theory and method in diaspora studies, creolization.


Golden Dozen Teaching Award 2014, Fulbright, Sigma Xi Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Richard Carley Hunt Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship, NYU Humanities Initiative Fellowship (monograph project, “Sacred Sacrilege: The View from Caribbean Obeah and Hosay”), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Title VI Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant (international seminar series, “Our America: Cross Currents and Intimate Dialogues in the Making of a Hemisphere”), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Faculty Working Group Grant (seminar series, “Reassembling the Americas: Africans, Asians, and the Crossroads of Diaspora”)

Selected Publications

Guest editor and Introduction, special issue of the journal Cultural Dynamics, on The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot, July 2014.

Islam and the Atlantic World, edited by Aisha Khan (University Press of Florida, edited volume, in press)

Sacred Sacrilege: The View from Caribbean Obeah and Hosay
(monograph, under contract)

Empirical Futures: Anthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz
. Co-edited with George Baca and Stephan Palmie, 2009. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity among South Asians in Trinidad
, Duke University Press (2004)

in preparation: guest editor for invited special issue of Cultural Dynamics on The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot

“Dark Arts and Diaspora,” 2013, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 17(1):40-63

2012 “Islam, Vodou, and the Making of the Afro-Atlantic.” New West Indian Guide 86(1-2): 29-54

2010 “Amid Memory and Historical Consciousness: Locating the Plantation Past.” Journal of Historical Sociology 23(1):171-184.

2009 “Catching the Wind.” Small Axe: A Journal of Criticism 29: 200-209.

2009 “’Caucasian’, ‘Coolie’, ‘Black’, or ‘White’? Color and Race in the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora.” In Shades of Difference: Transnational Perspectives on How and Why Skin Color Matters. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, editor. Pp. 95-113. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

2001 “Journey to the Center of the Earth: The Caribbean as Master Symbol.” Cultural Anthropology 16(3):271-302.

2003 “Portraits in the Mirror: Nature, Culture, and Women’s Travel Writing in the Caribbean.” Women’s Writing 10(1).

1997 “Rurality and ‘Racial’ Landscapes in Trinidad.” In Knowing Your Place: Rural Identity and Cultural Hierarchy. Barbara Ching and Gerald Creed, editors. Pp. 39-69. NY: Routledge,

1994 “Juthaa in Trinidad: Food. Pollution, and Hierarchy in a Caribbean Diaspora Community.” American Ethnologist 21(2): 245-269.

1993 “What is ‘a Spanish’? Ambiguity and ‘Mixed’ Ethnicity in Trinidad.” In Trinidad Ethnicity, ed. by K. Yelvington. Pp. 180-207. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

Current News/Projects

Updated August 2014

I have just returned from a summer of research in Trinidad and London, for my monograph Sacred Sacrilege funded by an NEH summer research grant. Most recently, l’ve also given a keynote address at the Department of Black Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. I also co-organized with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies a symposium on “The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot” (see CLACS website for videotape of conference, March 1, 2013). It was a highly successful event, filling the KJCC auditorium with academics and members of diverse community publics who engaged in spirited dialogs about the many and important legacies of a monumentally important scholar who left us too soon. I also am enjoying, and profiting greatly from my 2012-2013 Humanities Initiative Fellowship, which is giving me valuable time for research, writing/publishing, and engaging with colleagues across the disciplines about our current research projects. I was fortunate to be invited during the spring and fall semesters to give talks at Oxford University, the University of Chicago, The University of the West Indies St. Augustine, and Texas A & M. For the rest of 2012, I presented papers at the Association of Asian American Studies (Seattle), the Caribbean Studies Association (Grenada, W.I.), and the American Anthropological Association (Chicago). I am also delighted, as always, to be engaged with the fascinating research projects of doctoral students here across NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences and in several national and international universities.


National Endowment for the Humanities, summer research grant

2014 Awards: Golden Dozen Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences

2014 Fellowships: New York University Humanities Initiative Fellowship 2013-2014

Keynote Address: Department of Black Studies, University of California Santa Barbara, May 19, 2014