Stephen Small

Job title: 
Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Stephen Small has taught in the Department of African American Studies since 1995. On July 1st, 2020 he was appointed interim Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, an Organized Research Unit on campus that is comprised of six research centers. He previously served as Chair of the Department of African American Studies, Associate Director of the Institute of International Relations, Director, International Area Studies, and Director, Rotary Center for International Studies of Peace and Conflict Resolution.

He received his B.A. (honors) in Economics and Sociology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, his MS.C in Social Sciences, from the University of Bristol (both in the United Kingdom), and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1988-1992); in the Center for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick (1991); and in the Department of Sociology at the University of Leicester (1992-1995). He was Study Center Director for the University of California’s Education Abroad Program in Spain (2013-2015), in France (2002-2004); and he was Director of UC, Berkeley’s travel study program in Brazil (2001-2005) and in Zimbabwe (1996). He was Extraordinary Professor for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy in the History Department of the University of Amsterdam (2010-2015).

The majority of his teaching is about African Americans in the post-Civil Rights period, but he necessarily makes comparisons with earlier periods, and with other racial and ethnic groups in the contemporary period. He frequently compares the social structure, institutional circumstances and social mobilization of African Americans, with Black people elsewhere in the African Diaspora – especially in Europe, the Caribbean and in South America (primarily Brazil).

Research interests: 

Public history, collective memory, African diaspora in Europe.