Personal Statement:

I am a PhD student studying the history of the modern Middle East. My research focuses on gender, race, and racialization in the Arabian Peninsula and the history of Modern Yemen. My dissertation “Native Outsiders: Black Yemenis in 19th and 20th Century Yemen” is a social history of Yemen’s marginalized Black Muhamasheen community. It draws on Middle East Studies, Indian Ocean Studies, and Black Studies to recenter Yemen as a global anchor of East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. 

My previous work explores the codification of Islamic family laws in North Yemen, South Yemen, and the Republic of Yemen. It highlights how the personal status laws of each Yemeni state constructed an image of “the ideal Yemeni woman” and how Yemeni states used this image to further their state-building project.

Dissertation Title:

Native Outsiders: The Black Muhamasheen of Yemen, 1940s - 1980s 

Selected Publications:

Alshaif, Gokh Amin. “Black and Yemeni: Myths, Genealogies, and Race.” Racial Formations in Africa and the Middle East: A Transregional Approach. POMEPS 44 (2021): 129-134. 

Courses Taught:

Instructor of Record:

  • INT93LS: Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Summer 2020)
  • INT93LS: Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Summer 2019)
  • INT93LS: Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Summer 2018)

Graduate Teaching Assistant: 

  • HIST 46B: The Middle East from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Spring 2020)
  • HIST 46A: The Middle East from Muhammad to the Nineteenth Century (Winter 2020) 
  • HIST 46: Survey of Middle Eastern History (Summer 2019, Fall 2018)
  • HIST 4C: History of Modern Europe, 1715-Present (Spring 2019)
  • HIST 2A: World History to 1000 CE (Winter 2019)
  • HIST 2C: World History, 1700-Present (Fall 2017)
  • INT 35DS: The Past Haunts the Present: Enduring Themes in History (Summer 2017)
  • HIST 17C: History of the American Peoples, 1920-Present (Spring 2017)
  • HIST 17B: History of the American Peoples, 1813-1919  (Winter 2017)
  • ENGR 101: Engineering Ethics (Fall 2016, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022)
  • GLBL 158: American Foreign Policy in the Middle East (Summer 2016)
  • GLBL 124: Global Conflict (Spring 2016)
  • GLBL 1: Global History, Culture, and Ideology  (Winter 2016, Winter 2015)
  • SOC 108G: Research and Methods (Spring 2015)
  • GLBL 110:Culture and Global Ethics (Fall 2014)

Awards & Professional Activities:


  • University of California Doctoral Scholars Fellowship (2018-2024)
  • CAORC – American Insitute for Yemeni Studies Fellowship (2022-2023)
  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention (2021)
  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention (2020)
  • Stephen and Eloise Hay Fellowship (2020)
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Graduate Collaborative Award (2016-2017)
  • NSEP David L. Boren Fellowship (2015-2016)
  • Orfalea Endowment Fellowship (2014-2016)
  • Kendra Chiota Payne Memorial Award (2015)
  • Outstanding Graduate in the School of Arts and Humanities (Class of 2014)
  • Outstanding Graduate in Religious Studies (Class of 2014)
  • Outstanding Graduate in Political Science (Class of 2014)
  • Sally Casa Nova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (2013-2014)
  • Ronald E. McNair Scholar (2012-2014)