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Uoldelul Chelati Dirar

He was born in Asmara (Eritrea). He has completed his secondary school and university studies in Italy. In 1998, after having earned a Doctorate in African history at the University of Cagliari, he went back to Eritrea where he has taught until 2003 in the Department of History of the University of Asmara. He has also been chair of the same Department from 1998 to 2002. In 2003 Uoldelul Chelati Dirar went back to Italy and is now Associate Professor of African History in the Department of Political Science at the University of Macerata. Historian by training, Uoldelul Chelati Dirar has dealt mainly with the history of the Horn of Africa, particularly Eritrea, during colonial times. His research interests focus on the processes of élites formation and on the development of nationalisms in the Horn of Africa.


Benedetta Barbisan

Is a comparative constitutional scholar at the School of Political Science. Her interests dealt also with transitional justice and new forms of constitutionalism. She was visiting scholar at the Boston College Law School, research assistant at the Harvard Law School and visiting researcher at the Yale Law School. Among her publications, «Marbury v. Madison. Le origini della giustizia costituzionale negli Stati Uniti». Currently, she has been working on her new book «Therpandrus' Obsession. Privacy, Dignity and the «Right to Die» in the Era of Universal Human Rights».


Maria Elena Paniconi

She holds a PhD in Oriental Studies (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2006). Her dissertation focused on the Egyptian novel of the 80’s and 90’s. Later on she was recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Berkeley (2008) and since 2010 she has been serving as permanent lecturer of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Macerata.

She works on modern and contemporary Arabic literature and culture, on twentieth-century women’s writing in the Arabic world, and on the cultural aspects of the process of experiencing modernity in the Arab world, with a specific focus on Egypt.

Her research deals with the creation of a modern imagery of youth in early twentieth-century Egypt and the role played, within this same context, by intellectuals and writers in the spread of a national ideal. This last interest of hers has been the focus of the work: Modernità arabe. Nazione, narrazione e nuovi soggetti nel romanzo egiziano written with Lorenzo Casini (University of Messina) and Lucia Sorbera (University of Sydney) (Mesogea, 2013). Furthermore she has been working on the Italian cultural realm in early twentieth-century Egypt, investigating the relations between the Italians in Egypt had the Egyptian cultural elites.

She is member of the executive board of SeSaMO (Società italiana di Studi sull’Africa e Medio Oriente).