May 06, 2014
Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, Ph.D., professor and chair in the Department of Political Science, is the author of a new book, The Libya We do Not Know: History, Culture and Civil Society, published in Arabic by Dar al-Hilal Press in Cairo Egypt, and the Libyan Ministry of Culture.
The book introduces Libya from the perspective of subaltern, ordinary people, examining their social and cultural history, and it provides a critique of the contemporary scholarship and media fixation on Qadhdhafi, oil, and terrorism.
The book is divided into five sections: method and post colonialism; social history and state formation; identity and culture; the rise and collapse of the dictatorship; and the challenges of post revolution, such as arms, security, state building, and truth and national reconciliation.
The Libya We do Not Know has been reviewed and discussed in Egyptian and Libyan media such as al-Qahira, Libya al-Mustaqbal.
Ahmida was born in Waddan, Libya, and educated at Cairo University in Egypt and at the University of Washington, Seattle. His areas of expertise are political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology. His scholarship focuses on power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially in modern Libya.
He has published major articles in Italian Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Arab Future, Third World Quarterly and the Arab Journal of International Studies.
Ahmida is the author of several books, including: The Making of Modern Libya: State Formation, Colonialization and Resistance (SUNY Press 1994, 2009); Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya (Routledge Press, 2005); and Post-Orientalism: Critical Reviews of North African Social and Cultural History (The Center of Arab Unity Studies, Beirut, 2009).
He also served as the editor of Beyond Colonialism and Nationalism in the Maghrib: History, Culture and Politics (Palgrave Press, 2000), and Bridges Across the Sahara (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009).
Ahmida has lectured in a variety of U.S., Canadian, European, Middle Eastern and African universities and colleges. He has contributed several book reviews, articles and chapters to books on the African state, identity and alienation, and class and state formation in modern Libya.
He has received many academic grants and awards such as the Social Science Research Council national grant award, the Philip Shehade New Writer’s Award in 1994, and the Kenneally Cup for distinguished academic service of the year at University of New England in 2003. In May 2010, he was awarded the Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2010-11 for excellence in teaching and scholarship at the University of New England.
Ahmida is fluent in Arabic, English and reads Italian and French.