Sally Howell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History
Sally Howell
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Social Sciences
2038 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 associate professor of history at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Her books include Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade (2011, Wayne State University Press), Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past (2014, Oxford University Press), and Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging (2022, Wayne State University Press). Old Islam in Detroit was named a Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan and given the Evelyn Shakir Award for non-fiction by the Arab American National Museum. A former President of the Arab American Studies Association and a former Director of the Center for Arab American Studies, Howell is an active creator of public history projects related to her research, including documentary films, podcasts, art installations, and cultural history exhibitions.

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:


2014 Stateside Interview with Cynthia Canty

Journal Articles:

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.