Tunisia: Emerging Identities in North Africa
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Faculty and Staff
Mounir Khélifa, PhD, Academic Director
Dr. Khélifa is a native of Tunisia. He studied English at Tunis University, the Sorbonne, and Yale, where he received his MA and PhD. A professor of English language and literature for more than two decades, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in poetry, poetics, and comparative literature at Tunis University. He has held several academic administrative positions, including director of English graduate studies at the University of Manouba from 1998 to 2002, and was senior advisor in the cabinet of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (2002–2006), where he was responsible for cooperation with foreign institutions and curricular reform. Dr. Khélifa has recently been made a lifetime member of the Tunisian Academy for the Arts, Letters, and Sciences.
As academic director, Dr. Khélifa oversees all aspects of the SIT Study Abroad Tunisia program. In addition to designing the program’s academic and field-based components, he advises students and ensures that their academic needs are met. In this role, Dr. Khélifa draws on his understanding of both American and Tunisian higher education systems, his intimate knowledge of Tunisian culture, and his wide range of contacts in the area.
Nadya Ghribi, Program Assistant and Language Coordinator
Nadya has a master’s degree in English language and literature from the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure of Tunis. As program assistant, she serves as the students’ key resource on homestay issues, educational excursions, translation, logistics, and general matters related to Tunisian culture and society. She also supervises the Arabic language placement test and oversees the Arabic language program. As a native of Tunis, Nadya is quite knowledgeable about both its medina and European quarters as well as the northern suburbs where SIT and the host families are located.
Najla Abbes, Arabic Language Instructor
Najla Abbes has a master’s degree in transcultural poetics from Tunis University. As a Fulbright scholar, she taught Arabic language and culture to American students at Pfeiffer University (North Carolina) in 2007 and 2008. In addition to being involved in teaching Modern Standard Arabic with the Critical Language Scholarship program in Tunisia, Najla has been the SIT Tunisia Arabic language instructor, responsible for teaching Modern Standard Arabic and Tunisian Dialect, since the spring of 2009.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Férid is a Tunisian film director, cinema critic, and historian. He taught film studies for many years at Tunis University and presided over or was a member of many film festival juries, such as the Cannes Film Festival and Les Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage.
His first film, Halfaouine, l'enfant des terrasses (Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces, 1990), is his best known work outside Tunisia. In addition to numerous documentaries and short films (Pique-nique, 1972; Caméra d'Afrique, 1983), his other feature films are: Un été à La Goulette (1996), and Villa Jasmin (2008).
Saloua Chérif, PhD
Saloua Chérif is an associate professor of English at Carthage 7-November University. She graduated from Tunis École Normale Supérieure in 1977 and the Sorbonne where she received her MA in 1979 and PhD in 1981.
Her present academic interest is women's writings in the United States, primarily black women's fiction. She has been awarded several grants, the most important of which was a Fulbright fellowship at UC Santa Barbara in 1998 and a lecturing grant at the University of Samford, Alabama, in 2004. She has contributed many articles on US multiethnic writings to academic journals in Tunisia, India, and the US.
Asma Nouira, PhD
Asma Nouira has a PhD in political science. Her field of specialization is law and Islamic studies with special emphasis on the state and Islam. She is an assistant professor of law and political science at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Management at Jendouba University. She is a member of Unité de Recherche État, Société et Culture, and Groupe de Recherche Islamo-Chrétien (GRIC), as well as the author of Le Mufti de la République, la fonction et l’institution (Tunis, Cérès Production 2000) and Responses to Wahabism in the 19th century (Beyrouth, Dar Al Taliaa 2008).
Professor Hamadi Redissi
Hamadi Redissi is a professor of public law and political science at the University of Tunis. In 2008 he was a visiting scholar at Yale University and in 1999 at Fordham University. A Fulbright scholarship recipient, he has lectured at several American universities (Yale, Fordham University, Colorado College, Loyola University, and the American Academy of Arts and Science in Boston).
He is the author of several publications, including L’exception islamique, Paris, 2004; Les Politiques en Islam: le Prophète, le roi et le savant, Paris, 1998; and Religion and Politics: Islam and Muslim Civilization (in collaboration with Jan-Erik Lane), London, 2004. He recently published a book on the history of Wahhabism (Le Pacte de Nadjd ou comment l’islam sectaire est devenu l’islam, Paris, 2007) and co-edited a collection of manuscripts refuting Wahhabism in the 19th century, Beirut, 2008.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Sidi Bou Said, on the outskirts of Tunis
Language Study: Arabic, French
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