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Political scientist Ali Ahmida named Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2010-11

Professor Ali Ahmida

, Maine — The University of New England College of Arts and Sciences has announced that the 2010-2011 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences has been awarded to Professor Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, Ph.D.  

The Ludcke Chair, funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Eleanor Ludcke (Westbrook College class of 1926), is presented annually to a tenured member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their outstanding academic accomplishments. 

The Ludcke Chair recipient receives a stipend in support of their development as a teacher and scholar and gives a public lecture in early December, followed by a reception.

The chair holder must have attained the ideal of the “teacher/scholar,” a dedicated educator and productive researcher who has given generously of their time to the University of New England over a significant period. Professor Ahmida is the chair of the Political Science Department and an internationally recognized scholar of North African history and politics.

Professor Ahmida was born in Libya and educated at Cairo University in Egypt and the University of Washington in Seattle. His specialty is political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology of power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially modern Libya.

He has published major articles in Critique, Arab Future, and International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies.

He is also the author of The Making of Modern Libya: State Formation, Colonialization and Resistance (State of New York University Press, 1994). This book has been translated into Arabic and was published in a second edition by the Center of Arab Unity Studies (1998, Beirut, Lebanon).

His 2005 book, Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya (Routledge Press) was also translated and issued in Italian and most recently in 2009 in Arabic by the Center of Arab Unity Studies, Beirut.

Professor Ahmida is the editor of Beyond Colonialism and Nationalism in the Maghrib: History, Culture and Politics (Palgrave, 2000). He has also recently published Bridges Across the Sahara: Social, Economic and Cultural Impact of the Trans-Sahara Trade during the 19th and 20th Centuries (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009); and Post-Orientalism: Critical Reviews in North African Social and Cultural History (published in Arabic by the Center of Arab Unity Studies, Beirut, Lebanon 2009)

He has lectured in a variety of U.S., Canadian, European and African universities and colleges, and has contributed several book reviews, articles and chapters to books on the African state, identity and alienation, class and state formation in modern Libya.

Professor Ahmida has received many academic grants and awards, including a Social Science Research Council National Grant Award, the Shahade Award, and the 2003 Kenneally Cup Award for distinguished academic service at the University of New England. Professor Ahmida is the third recipient of the Ludcke Chair.  Elizabeth De Wolfe, professor of History, was awarded the first Ludcke Chair in 2008-2009. Stephan Zeeman, professor of Marine Science, held the Ludcke Chair in 2009-2010.

(News release posted May 28, 2010)