Ali Jimale Ahmed
Jimale Ahmed is Chair and Professor of Comparative Literature at Queens College
and the CUNY Graduate Center. Creative teaching is, for Ahmed, one
of the cornerstones of academic learning. It incorporates Socratic
methods of questioning, while at the same time emphasizing the
importance of education as a two-way traffic. Through college education,
students endeavor to form their own "internally persuasive discourse"
(Bakhtin). As teachers, it is our responsibility to avail our students
of a whole, diverse gamut of ideas which will contribute to the
formation of their own discourses. To achieve this aim, Ahmed's
students are constantly asked to read disciplines and texts in relation
to and against one another. Reading in this context underlines the need
to see the interconnectedness of our world, while at the same time not
glossing over the vast differences that exist. In relation to this, Ahmed is a firm believer in the de-compartamentalization of
disciplines, for no discipline is by itself capable of capturing the
inner pulse of a nation. The suggestion implied here is best described
by the African parable of the elephant and the three blind men.
Neither the tusk, nor the rough skin, nor the soft ears of an elephant
would individually give a holistic picture of what an elephant really
Research interests include the novel genre in the third world: Islamic
literature; Literature and Politics; Fiction Across Cultures; Immigrant
Literature; Greed in Literature and Film; Madness and Literature; the
Poetics and noetics of orature.
Ahmed's poetry and short stories have been translated into several languages. His most recent book is Fear is a Cow (Red Sea Press 2002).
Ahmed also teaches for both the World Studies Program and the
Department of Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages &
Grants and Awards
- Co-Director (with I.L. Markovitz) of NEH Summer Seminars
for Teachers Presidential Mini-Grant Award for Innovative Teaching
- 1994 winner of the President's Award for Excellence in