M. Aziz (they/them)

Assistant Professor
Dr. M. Aziz

Contact Information

Padelford Hall A-513
Office Hours
by appointment


Dr. M. Aziz (Uh-Zeez), (pronouns: they/them/theirs), is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies in the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington. Aziz received their Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in African American Studies from Columbia University. Their first book asks how folks who practiced unarmed self-defense and martial arts contributed to Black Power organizing and shifting ideas about liberation, abolition, and gender norms. It also traces how the learning of martial arts was facilitated by U.S. militarism during the Cold War.

In 2022, they received the V.P. Franklin Legacy Journal of African American History Award from the Association for the Study of African American Life for their article, “They Punch Black: They Punched Black: Martial Arts, Black Arts, and Sports in the Urban North and West, 1968-1979.” Their work was also showcased in the 2017-2018 exhibit, “Black Power!, ” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, for which Aziz was a contributing writer and a curator for the sections on popular culture and blaxploitation film. Currently, they lead the Schomburg Mellon Humanities Summer-Institute for undergraduates. As a TGNC scholar-activist, Aziz regularly teaches radically inclusive self-defense classes in person and virtually. They have written [washingtonpost.com] for the “Made by History” section at the Washington Post. Further insight into their work can be seen in publications such as Teen Vogue and Mic or heard in Podcasts such as Burn It All Down.

Before joining the University of Washington, Aziz was the African American History Postdoctoral in the Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center at Pennsylvania State University. They teach courses on Black culture, social movement history, and the practice of martial artistry.