Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Passing of Columbia faculty member, Professor Steven Gregory

September 13, 2021

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Steven Gregory, the Dr. Kenneth and Kareitha Forde Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Columbia.  Steven passed away last week of natural causes. He had been a valued member of our faculty since arriving to Columbia twenty-one years ago and will be missed. 

Steven’s extraordinary scholarship crossed the boundaries of the Caribbean and the United States and examined the intersection of race, class, gender and urban-based movements in those regions.  Among his books are Black Corona: Race and Politics of Place in and Urban Community (1998) and The Devil Behind the Mirror: Globalization and Politics in the Dominican Republic (2007), which received the Society for Urban Anthropology’s Anthony Leeds Prize, and the Caribbean Studies Association’s Gordon K. Lewis Book Prize.  Steven recently completed a book titled The Valley & the Acropolis: Power, Spatiality, and the Politics of Knowledge, which is forthcoming.

Steven’s loss will be particularly felt among the many undergraduate and graduate students he worked with over the years in the Department of Anthropology, the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), and the new Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS), where Steven served as a core faculty member.  For many years Steven served as Director of Graduate Students for IRAAS, helping to shepherd through a generation of M.A. students in the program.

Please keep Steven’s family in your thoughts as they go through this difficult time.  In the months ahead, we will have opportunities to celebrate Steven’s life and reflect on his many contributions to the disciplines of Black Studies and Anthropology, and to Columbia.


Fredrick C. Harris
Dean of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science

Amy E. Hungerford
Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences
Dean of the Faculty
Ruth Fulton Benedict Professor of English and Comparative Literature