Dr Hussam Ahmed


Assistant Professor

Rhetoric House
(01) 7083664


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 will be released in June 2021 by Stanford University Press. The book examines 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. The book 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 and work of one of the most iconic figures in modern Arab history. By exploring achievements in culture and education, such as free education, opening Egyptian universities to women, and resisting French colonial policies in North Africa, the book situates modern Egypt’s cultural influence in the Arab-Islamic world within the structural changes and political processes of the parliamentary period (1922-1952). For more on The Last Nahdawi, check: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=31834.

Hussam has published on the history of Egyptian institutions of culture and education in Arab Studies Journal and Die Welt des Islams. He has also recently published a chapter on Cairo’s vibrant francophone literary and artistic circles during the interwar period in an edited book analyzing the cultural entanglement in Arab countries before independence.

For interviews with Hussam describing his work, follow these links: 
New Texts Out Now: “The Nahda in Parliament,” Jadaliyyahttp://jadaliyya.com/Details/37861 (in English) 
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) 

For a list of Hussam’s publications and teaching interests, check the corresponding tabs.