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Aijaz Ahmad

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Ahmad delivering a lecture in 2013

Aijaz Ahmad (Hindi: ऐजाज़ अहमद, Urdu: اعجاز احمد; 1941 – 9 March 2022) was an Indian-born American Marxist philosopher, literary theorist, and political commentator. He was the Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Humanities’ Department of Comparative Literature.[1]

Early life, family and education[edit]

Aijaz Ahmad was born in Muzaffarnagar, British Raj in 1941.[2]


He was a professorial fellow at the Centre of Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India, visiting professor at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and visiting professor of political science at York University, Toronto, Canada. He also worked as an editorial consultant with the Frontline and as a senior news analyst for the news website NewsClick.[3][4]


In his book In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures, Ahmad primarily discusses the role of theory and theorists in the movement against colonialism and imperialism.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmad died in Irvine, California, on 9 March 2022, at age 81. He was hospitalised for age-related ailments and had returned home only a few days prior to his death.[2][6] Rutgers University law professor Adil Ahmad Haque is his son.[7]


  1. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures - Verso, 1992.
  2. A World To Win: Essays on the Communist Manifesto - with Irfan Habib and Prabhat Patnaik, LeftWord Books, 1999.
  3. Lineages of the Present: Ideological and Political Genealogies of Contemporary South Asia - Verso, 2001.
  4. On Communalism and Globalization: Offensives of the Far Right - Three Essays Collective, New Delhi, 2002.
  5. Iraq, Afghanistan and the Imperialism of Our Time - LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2004.
  6. In Our Time: Empire, Politics, Culture - Verso, 2007


  1. Ghazals of Ghalib - ed. by Aijaz Ahmad. Oxford India, 1995. (With translations from the Urdu by Aijaz Ahmed, W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich, William Stafford, David Ray, Thomas Fitzsimmons, Mark Strand, and William Hunt)
  2. A Singular Voice: Collected Writings of Michael Sprinker - Editor (with Fred Pfeil and Modhumita Roy), 2000.


  1. ^ "Aijaz Ahmad joins UC Irvine's Department of Comparative Literature". humanities.uci.edu (Press release). School of Humanities at University of California, Irvine. April 20, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Patnaik, Prabhat (2022-03-10). "A true Marxist intellectual, Aijaz Ahmed's scholarship encompassed several disciplines". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  3. ^ ഡെന്നിസ്, സുബിന്‍ (10 March 2022). "എജാസ് അഹമ്മദിനെ വായിക്കേണ്ടതുണ്ട്; ഇന്നിന്റെ ലോകത്തെ മനസ്സിലാക്കാനും ദിശ മാറ്റിത്തീർക്കാനും" [Ajaz needs to read Ahmed; To understand and change the direction of today's world]. Mathrubhumi.com (in Malayalam). Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  4. ^ "Renowned Marxist philosopher Aijaz Ahmad passes away". Mathrubhumi.com. 10 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  5. ^ "The Life of a Great Marxist: Aijaz Ahmad (1941-2022)". NewsClick.com. 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  6. ^ "Aijaz Ahmad, a great intellectual and philosopher of our times is no more: Tarigami". knskashmir.com. 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  7. ^ "Saumya Manohar, Adil Haque". The New York Times. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2022.

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