Gokh Amin Alshaif

Historian of Modern Yemen

Welcome to my page!

I am a History PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara studying the history of the modern Middle East. I specialize in race and gender in the Middle East, with a focus on the social history of Yemen. My previous work explores the codification of Islamic family law in North Yemen, South Yemen, and the Republic of Yemen. My work also highlights how the family 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.

My current project focuses on the social history of Al-Muhamasheen—Yemen’s marginalized African-diaspora. I seek to understand how the Yemeni revolutions of the 1960s cemented the Muhamasheen’s position on the margins of Yemeni society while these revolutions simultaneously called for the overhaul of the country’s social hierarchy. Through this project, and my previous degrees in Religious Studies, Political Science, and Global Studies, I aim to provide an interdisciplinary case study to better understand race and race relations in the Middle East.