search the africa institute site

Distinguished Professor of Humane Letters in the School of Arts and Science

Distinguished Professor of Humane Letters in the School of Arts and Science, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, U.S.A

Ousseina D. Alidou is a Distinguished Professor of Humane Letters in the School of Arts and Science, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, USA. Alidou is Professor of Theoretical Linguistics, Gender, and Cultural Studies. She teaches in the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures and The Graduate Program in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Professor Alidou is recently honored as the incoming Library of Congress Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South (2025). She served as The President of the African Studies Association (2022-2-23), Chaired, The Association of African Studies Programs (AASP USA, 2009-2011) and the Director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers University from (2009-2015). She serves as a Senior Faculty Advisor to UNESCO BREDA for the design of UNESCO-Rutgers University’s Gender and Transformative Leadership Curriculum for African Universities and Civil Society Organizations.

Her specialization is Theoretical Linguistics, Gender, and African Studies. She is the author of Protest Arts, Gender and Social Change: Fiction and Popular Songs in Hausa Societies Across Borders (Michigan University Press, April 2024); Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya: Leadership, Representation, Political and Social Change (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013); Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005, a runner-up Aidoo-Schneider Book Prize of Women's Caucus of the Association of African Studies);  Alidou co-edited Writing through the Visual and Virtual: Inscribing Language, Literature, and Culture in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean with Renée Larrier (Kentucky: (After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France) Lexington Book, 2015); Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Africa with Ahmed Sikainga (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2006) and A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities, Co-edited with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2000). In addition, she has published over 50 book chapters and articles that appear in Research in African Literatures, Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika (SUGIA); Comparative Literature; and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; and Africa Today

She is the recipient of several national and international scholarly and service awards including Rutgers University’s Global Impact Award (2022); Obafemi Awolowo Center for Gender and Social Policy Studies Distinguished Visiting Scholar Service Award (2015); Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Award (2015); Newark Women-in-the Media Distinguished Community Service Award (2015); Rutgers University 2011 Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching; Africa America Institute’s Distinguished Alumni Award (2010);  Ford Foundation Human Rights and Social Justice Grant Award (2005); Rutgers University Board of Trustees Scholarly Excellence Award (2005); University of Hamburg, Germany, Visiting Professor Fellowship, Department of Linguistics and African Studies and Graduate Faculty of Intercultural Education (2003); and University of Lueneburg Graduate Faculty in Postcolonial Cultural Studies Visiting Scholars’ Writing Fellowship Award (2002).

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, U.S.A