Sally Howell, Ph.D.

Professor of History
Sally Howell
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Social Sciences
3024 College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building | 4901 Evergreen Road | Dearborn, MI 48128

Teaching Areas:

Arab American Studies, History, Middle East Studies, Urban and Regional Studies

Research Areas:

Arab American Studies, Detroit, Muslim American History

Biography and Education

Sally Howell is professor of history at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Her books include Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade (2011), Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past (2014), and Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging (2022). Old Islam in Detroit was named a Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan and given the 2014 Evelyn Shakir Award. Howell is also a curator of public history projects including the Halal Metropolis exhibition series, the Seen Jeem Podcast, and Unsettled Lives: Displaced Iraqis in Metro Detroit.

Teaching and Research

Courses Taught

Research Interests

  • Arab American Studies
  • Detroit
  • Muslim American History

Selected Publications


Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and BelongingEdited with Ghassan Zeineddine and Nabeel Abraham, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2022.

Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014

Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade. Edited with Nabeel Abraham and Andrew Shryock, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2011.

Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9/11.With Wayne Baker, Amaney Jamal, Ann Lin, Andrew Shryock, Ron Stockton, and Mark Tessler, New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2009.

Public History Projects:

Journal Articles:

 2022 "Mosqueing the Marketplace; Business as (Un)Usual in Hamtramck," Polish American Studies. 79(2):26-49.

2015 “Southend Struggles: Diverging Narratives of Power and Place in an Arab American Enclave,”  Mashriq and Mahjar:Journal of Middle East Migration Studies.  3(1):41-64.

2011 “(Re)Bounding Islamic Charitable Giving in the Terror Decade,” UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law.

2003 “Modernizing Mansaf: The Consuming Contexts of Jordan’s ‘National Dish’.”Food and Foodways. Vol. 11 (4):215-243.

2003 “Cracking Down on Diaspora: Arab Detroit and America’s ‘War on Terror’,” co-authored with Andrew Shryock. Anthropological Quarterly, Summer 76 (3):443-462.

2003 “Les Arabes de Detroit et la Guerre contra le Terrorisme de l’Amerique: La Remise en Question de leur Citoyennete Americaine,” co-authored with Andrew Shryock. Herodote109: 115-128.

2001 “‘Ever a Guest in Our House’: The Amir Abdullah, Shaykh Majid al-‘Adwan, and the Practice of Jordanian House Politics, as remembered by Umm Sultan, the Widow of Majid,” with Andrew Shryock. The International Journal of Middle East Studies, 33 (2):247-269.

2001 “Cultural Interventions: Arab American Aesthetics between the Transnational and the Ethnic.” Diaspora, 9 (1):59-82, Spring 2000.

1998 "Picturing Women, Class, and Community in Arab Detroit: The Strange Case of Eva Habeeb." Visual Anthropology, Vol. 10 (2-4):209-226.


2020-2021 Producer, Zoom in on the Halal Metropolis, University of Michigan-Dearborn, 127 episodes.

1995 Executive Producer, Producer. Tales from Arab Detroit: Abu Zayd Comes to America, ACCESS and Olive Branch Productions, 46 mins.