Suleiman Osman

Suleiman Osman
Director of Undergraduate Studies
2108 G St. NW, Room 203C
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

urban, race, ethnicity, US cultural, political and cultural history

Suleiman Osman specializes in U.S. urban history, the built environment, U.S. cultural and social history, and the study of race and ethnicity, with a particular focus on the way urban space both shapes and is produced by culture and politics. His book "Inventing Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity" was published by Oxford University Press in February 2011.
A history of gentrification in Brooklyn, the book explores the relationship between New York’s physical and symbolic cityscapes. Tracing the efforts of a new middle class to reinhabit and restore aging Victorian neighborhoods, Prof. Osman examines how Brooklyn’s declining commercial and industrial landscapes were recast as postindustrial sites of anti-bureaucratic authenticity.

Prof. Osman is also pursuing a broader project that looks at 1970’s urban politics and culture. His recent chapter, The Decade of the Neighborhood,” in Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman’s Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, offers an analysis of the “neighborhood movement” of the 1970s and traces the widespread and eclectic revolts against urban growth politics in New York, Boston and other cities in the 1970s.


PhD, Harvard U., 2006

Prof. Osman did his doctoral work in the American Civilization Program at Harvard University. He also has a BA in history from Yale College.


The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

“The Decade of the Neighborhood.”  In Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, edited by Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman, 106-127. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Classes Taught

Prof. Osman is currently teaching courses on race and ethnicity in the American metropolis, American cityscapes, Scope and Methods in American Studies, a course on the 1960s, and several research seminars in urban history.