Princeton University, Ph.D. Comparative Literature
Yale University, B.A. English
Areas of Expertise
Philosophy and literature; aesthetics; literary theory
Poetry (19th and 20th century French, francophone African, American, British)
Islamic studies (pre-Islamic poetry; Quranic studies; art and aesthetics; Islamic legal and political theory; African Islam)
Born and raised in the Congo, Ally Ladha holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. He has taught at Harvard University and currently teaches literature and philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Ladha’s philosophical work, centering on the relation of aesthetics and knowledge, identifies dynamic, contingent, and performative modes of subjectivity across various traditions, with potentially radical implications for contemporary political and legal theory. He anchors his research at the intersection of Arabo-Islamic thought, French and German literature and philosophy, and their respective legacies in francophone cultural expressions.
Ladha’s recent works include The Mamertine Group, an experimental design lab that develops architectural interventions in the public imaginary, relating monumental form to questions of sovereignty, citizenship, culture, and history. His “Prison-Wall” project has been featured in over one hundred publications internationally including CNN, The Guardian, CNBC, Wired, and Telemundo.
His current book project, entitled The Architecture of Freedom: Hegel, Subjectivity, and the Postcolonial State, analyzes the idea of “Africa” in relation to conceptions of language, the aesthetic, and the political subject in Hegel’s work and its articulation in contemporary francophone African thought. Ladha has lectured at the École Normale Supérieure, the American University of Cairo, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Harvard University, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the University of Connecticut.
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