Michael John Downie is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he teaches the "Freshman Experience", CAL 103. He came to Stevens from SUNY Westchester Community College, and previously taught at Marist College, Bard College, SUNY New Paltz, The City College of New York and College Formation, in Paris, France. He has taught a wide range of disciplines from African American Literature to Composition & Literature and Realist & Modern American Literature to Humor in Literature and World Literature to Creative Writing.
In 2006, Professor Downie won a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for the year-long colloquium "Africa and the Americas", which led him to deconstruct the North Atlantic Slave Trade and reconstruct the razzia through the lens of original manuscripts from The National Archives, London, England and the British Library. He has also conducted research at Cape Coast University, Cape Coast, Ghana, El Mina and Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, and Université Paris IV, Paris.
Professor Downie’s research examines the first razzias, which were military raids for the purpose of plunder or to capture slaves, that became known as "slave raids". Further, he examines the expulsion of the U.K. from the slave trade for nearly a century, and the economic viability of the razzia. His research got him involved in modern day slavery, and he recently completed a novel on slavery in the modern era. Professor Downie has worked in the film and television industry, the music industry in France, and the Publishing industry in New York. He was appointed to Community Board #10 by the Borough President of Manhattan in 2007, and sits on board of three cultural organizations in Harlem. His writing appears in various anthologies and various edited collections.