A. Kayum Ahmed awarded the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship | Anthropology and Education | International & Transcultural StudiesSkip to content Skip to main navigation
In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies
A. Kayum Ahmed awarded the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship
A. Kayum Ahmed was recently named as a 2018 recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer (NAEd/Spencer) Dissertation Fellowship. This highly competitive program aims to identify the most talented researchers engaged in scholarship related to education by supporting individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.
As a NAEd/Spencer Fellow, Kayum will examine the intersections between social movements, decolonial theory and public pedagogy, drawing on the #RhodesMustFall student movements at the universities of Cape Town and Oxford as case studies. Kayum’s Ph.D. research on radical student movements stems from his commitment to social justice activism. Following his involvement in anti-white supremacist protests at Columbia where he faced disciplinary action, Kayum was placed on a right-wing watchlist for advancing "leftist propaganda in the classroom." He is currently supporting the formation of a Graduate Workers Union as well as Teachers College students involved in a campaign to decolonize the university, starting with the Thorndike building which is named after a prominent eugenicist, misogynist and racist, Edward L. Thorndike.
In addition to working on his Ph.D., Kayum teaches classes on socio-economic rights, as well as African law, literature and politics as an Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia Law School. Before joining Columbia, Kayum served as Chief Executive Officer of the South African Human Rights Commission from 2010 to 2015. During his term at the Commission, he led a team of 178 colleagues to monitor, protect and promote human rights in South Africa, and oversaw the management of nearly 45,000 human rights cases.
He holds various degrees in law from the University of Oxford (MS.t), Leiden University (LL.M.), and the University of Cape Town (LL.B.), as well as degrees in anthropology (M.A.) and theology (B.A. Hons.).
You can read more about Kayum and his research here.