Dr Hussam Ahmed

History

Assistant Professor

Rhetoric House
First
39
(01) 7083664

Biography

Hussam R. Ahmed is a historian of the modern Middle East. He completed his Ph.D. in History at McGill University in 2018 focusing on the social and cultural history of modern Egypt. He then took up postdoctoral fellowships at KU Leuven and the University of Cambridge before joining the Department of History at Maynooth University as Assistant Professor. 

Hussam’s first book, The Last Nahdawi: Taha Hussein and Institution Building in Egypt was released in June 2021 by Stanford University Press. 
The book explores the efforts of Taha Hussein (1889-1973), one of the most influential thinkers and statesmen of the modern Arab world, in formulating and implementing Egypt’s cultural and educational policies within a challenging colonial context. Neither existing historiography nor literary projects grounded in postcolonial studies do justice to the institutional and political context in which Hussein was writing and making decisions. Drawing on state and university archival records and Hussein’s private papers, The Last Nahdawi shifts the focus from Hussein the Dean of Arabic Literature to the lesser-known civil servant and offers the first biography in which his intellectual outlook and public career are taken equally seriously. Examining Hussein's actions against the backdrop of his complex relationship with the Egyptian state, the religious establishment, and the French government, the book situates modern Egypt's cultural influence in the Arab and Islamic world within the various structural changes and political processes of the parliamentary period (1922-1952). It offers both a history of modern state formation, revealing how the Egyptian state came to hold such a strong grip over culture and education—and a compelling examination of the life of the country's most renowned intellectual.

For more on The Last Nahdawi, check: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=31834.
 

PUBLICATIONS – PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES 
 
2018     “The Nahda in Parliament: Taha Husayn’s Career Building Knowledge Production Institutions, 1922-1952” Arab Studies Journal 16, no. 1 (2018): 8-32. 

2018     “Egyptian Cultural Expansionism: Taha Hussein Confronts the French in North Africa, 1950-1952.” Die Welt des Islams 58, no. 4 (2018): 409-441.
  

BOOK CHAPTERS 
 
2020     “Porous Boundaries: The “Local” and the “Foreign” in Cairo’s Vibrant Francophone Cultural Scene (1919-1939).” In Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Arts, Thought and Literature, eds. Anthony Gorman and Sarah Irving. London: I.B. Tauris.

INTERVIEWS 
 
2018   New Texts Out Now: “The Nahda in Parliament,” by Hussam R. Ahmed, Jadaliyya, http://jadaliyya.com/Details/37861 

2019   Reflections on Egypt, the Middle East, and History: “Taha Hussein, Intellectual and Astute Politician,” https://khaledfahmy.org/ar/2019/04/21/طه-حسين،-مفكراً-وسياسيا-محنكاً/?preview=true&_thumbnail_id=4261&fbclid=IwAR1rwKi2cNavy2ZiY1vpBKwyraueZG5GbIsbTf6bhQp4VucSfpsOJfRHIAA (in Arabic)

Books

  Year Publication
2021 The Last Nahdawi: Taha Hussein and Institution Building in Egypt.
Hussam R. Ahmed (2021) The Last Nahdawi: Taha Hussein and Institution Building in Egypt. Stanford, California, U.S: Stanford University Press. [Details]

Edited Books

  Year Publication
2020 Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Arts, Thought and Literature
Anthony Gorman and Sarah Irving (Ed.). (2020) Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Arts, Thought and Literature London, U.K: I.B. Tauris. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2018 'Egyptian Cultural Expansionism: Taha Hussein Confronts the French in North Africa, 1950-1952'
Hussam R. Ahmed (2018) 'Egyptian Cultural Expansionism: Taha Hussein Confronts the French in North Africa, 1950-1952'. Die Welt des Islams, 58 (4):409-441 [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2021 Teaching Hero Award The Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the Union of Students in Ireland

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Middle East Studies Association of North America Member /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
ATHENA SWAN SELF-ASSESSMENT TEAM Member /
FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES COMMITTEE Member /

Teaching Interests

Courses Taught:

ANTI-COLONIAL RESISTANCE IN THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST (HY 3006)                   
Winter 2021; Winter 2020
 

HISTORY OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST (HY 3005)    
                                             
Winter 2021; Fall 2019  
 

HISTORY OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT (HY 215)                                             
Fall 2020; Fall 2019 
 

DOCUMENTS IN HISTORY (HY 201)                                                                         
Fall 2020; Winter 2020
 

MAKING THE MODERN WORLD: THEMES IN HISTORY (Ottoman Empire) (HY 122)          
Fall 2020; 
Co-Taught with Jonathan Wright