• Nicole Burrowes
  • Nicole Burrowes
  • Assistant Professor of History
  • Degree: CUNY Graduate Center
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2020
  • Specialty: African Diaspora; Modern Caribbean and African American History
  • Office: 002E Van Dyck Hall


PLEASE NOTE: This faculty member is on Family Medical Leave during the Spring of 2024.


My scholarship reflects and informs emerging directions in African Diaspora Studies, with a focus on Caribbean and African-American history. I am a twentieth century historian of social justice movements, relational histories of racialization and colonialism, Black Internationalism, and the politics of solidarity.

My current book project, Seeds of Solidarity: African-Indian Relations and the 1935 Labor Rebellions in British Guiana, explores the historical possibility of a movement forged by those at the edges of empire in the midst of economic, political, and environmental crises. My intervention is three-pronged: to center the 1930s and working people in the development of modern politics in the Caribbean; to expand the framework of “overlapping diasporas;” and, by examining the seeds of solidarity, to counter generations of hegemonic narratives that focus exclusively on racial discord. 

In 2015, I earned my Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History and African Diaspora Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center.  Among my primary commitments are: fostering global consciousness among students; developing a pipeline of students of color to enter academia; and compelling higher education to reflect the needs and aspirations of students and communities. For ten years, I recruited underrepresented undergraduates to pursue graduate studies through my work as a mentor and subsequent Assistant Director of the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.  

Beyond academia, I have extensive experience in community organizing and documentary film. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and my family is from Guyana, South America.



  • Burrowes, Nicole. “Building the World We Want to See: Sista II Sista and the Struggle Against State and Interpersonal Violence.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society 20, no. 4 (October-December 2018): 375-398.
  • Burrowes, Nicole, Laura Helton, La TaSha Levy, and Deborah McDowell. “Freedom Summer and its Legacies in the Classroom.” The Southern Quarterly 52, no. 4 (2014): 155-172.



  • Lee, Tamara and Nicole Burrowes. “Critical Lenses in the Global South: Two Scholars in Conversation.” In A Racial Reckoning in Industrial Relations: Storytelling as Revolution from Within, edited by Tamara L. Lee, SheriDavis-Faulkner, Naomi R. Williams and Maite Tapia, 131-147.Ithaca:  Labor and Employment Relations Association, Cornell University Press, 2022.
  • Burrowes, Nicole, and La TaSha Levy. “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Teaching the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Project.” In Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, edited by Hasan Jeffries, 144-158. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2019.


  • Burrowes, Nicole. Review of Post-Colonial Trajectories in the Caribbean: The Three Guianas, edited by R. Hoefte, M.L. Bishop, and P. Clegg. Small States and Territories Journal 1, no.1 (May 2018): 135-6.
  • Burrowes, Nicole. “Responding to King Sugar's Painful Rule: Clive Thomas and the Vision for an Economically Independent Caribbean.” Review of Plantations, Peasants and State, by Clive Y. Thomas. C.L.R. James Journal 22, no. ½ (Fall 2016): 287-296.


Selected Awards and Fellowships

  • Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American HistoriansSeptember 2021 – August 2024
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, September 2020 – August 2021
  • Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, June – December 2020
  • Mellon Post-Custodial Archives Engagement Mini-Grant, The University of Texas at Austin, March 2019
  • George A. Smathers Libraries Special and Area Studies Collections Travel Grant, University of Florida, July 2018
  • Summer Research Fellowship, John L. Warfield Center, The University of Texas at Austin, June 2018
  • Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of History, Brown University, July 2015 – June 2017
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies, University of Virginia, August 2013 – July 2015
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, The University of Texas at Austin, September 2011 – May 2012
  • Doctoral Student Research Grant, CUNY Graduate Center, January 2011
  • Travel Award, CUNY Office of Educational Opportunity & Diversity, June 2008
  • Project Involve Awardee – Documentary Section, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), May 2004
  • Social Justice Fellow, Open Society Foundations, September 2002
  • Named by the New York Daily News: “21 New Yorkers to Watch in the 21st Century,” January 2000