Born in Sudan, Dr. Salah Hassan is a professor of English and of Muslim Studies at Michigan State University (MSU). His research interests include: “postcolonial literature and theory, mid-twentieth-century anticolonial intellectual movements, literatures of empire, and Arab North American studies.” Hassan is also a curator and an art critic by profession, and sits on the editorial board of The Journal for the Study of Radicalism.
Before joining the MSU faculty, Hassan was a professor of Africana Studies as well as African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture at Cornell University. Prior to that, he taught in the Department of Art History at both SUNY Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania.
Hassan believes that foreign-born Muslims who immigrate to the United States encounter much intolerance, racism, and pressure to westernize their appearance. In a 2006 article titled “9/11: Five years later – Typecasting Muslims as a Race,” Hassan was quoted as saying: “Immigrants very quickly understand how racial categories in the U.S. work, the pecking order and the desire to whiten oneself. You definitely have that kind of bigotry.”
In the January 15, 2009 edition of the Lansing State Journal, Hassan penned an article on behalf of Michigan Professors Against Occupation, a group that condemned Israel’s then-active aerial bombardment of strongholds belonging to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, in Gaza. In that piece, Hassan wrote:
“It is urgent that we join with others around the world seeking peace and justice in the Middle East and call for an immediate cease-fire, a lifting of the blockade of Gaza and ultimately an end to the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. We believe in the need to achieve justice for Palestinians, and call on Michigan’s local, state and federal political representatives as well as the broader public to protest Israel’s violations of international law.”
On September 11, 2008, Hassan spoke at an MSU event titled “Hope Not Hate: The Future of US-Muslim World Relations.” This event was co-sponsored by the University’s Muslim Students Association.