This conference aims to investigate the history of Ethiopia in and of itself, and its complex relationship to the histories of the African continent, the wider African diaspora, and the world at large.

Saturday, October 17

Introductory Remarks

  • Hoor Al Qasimi, President, Sharjah Art Foundation and The Africa Institute
  • Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
  • Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Associate Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Dagmawi Woubshet – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Surafel Wondimu Abebe – Assistant Professor at the Centre for African Studies and Researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Session 1

Exceptionalism and Historiography of Ethiopia

Moderator & Discussant

Tibebe Eshete – Pocock Family Distinguished Visiting Assistant Professor of History, The College of Wooster, Ohio, USA

Keynote 1

Ethiopia: Symbol of Black Dignity and Independence

Bahru Zewde – Emeritus Professor of History, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Sunday, October 18

Session 2

Ethiopia and the Black Diasporic Imagination | Learn More

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Session 3

Tumultuous Times: Ethiopia Revolution and Derg Years | Learn More

Moderator & Discussant

Shimelis Bonsa Gulema – Associate Professor of Modern African History and Politics, SUNY Stony Brook University, New York, USA

Monday, October 19

Film Screening + Talk: Spacial and Other Memories: Meskel Square’s Contribution

Square Stories Trilogy | Learn More
2010 | 75 mins
Ye Wonz Maibel – Deluge
1997 | 61 mins
Directed by Salem MekuriaSalem Mekuria – Filmmaker and Professor Emeritus, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA
Dagmawi Woubshet – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Film Screening + Talk: The Modern Archive

Twilight Revelations: The Life and Times of Emperor Haile Selassie |
Learn More
Directed by Yemane Demissie
2009 | 58 minsYemane Demissie – Professor, New York University, USA
Takele Merid – Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Wednesday, October 21

Session 4

Artist Focus: A Dialogue with Julie Mehretu

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Session 5

The State of Visual Art in Ethiopia: A Roundtable

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Saturday, October 24

Session 6

Writing Ethiopia: Identity and the Literary Imagination

Moderator & Discussant

Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Associate Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Session 7

Modernity and Memory: Ethiopia’s Histories

Moderator & Discussant

Surafel Wondimu Abebe – Assistant Professor at the Centre for African Studies and Researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Sunday, October 25

Session 8

Diasporic Ethiopia: Migration and Exile

Film Screening: Va’ Pensiero – Walking stories

Moderator & Discussant

Dagmawi Woubshet¬ – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Keynote 2

Beyond Exceptionalism: Ethiopia in the History of International Law


Adom Getachew – Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago, USA

This conference aims to investigate the history of Ethiopia in and of itself, and its complex relationship to the histories of the African continent, the wider African diaspora, and the world at large.

This conference aims to investigate the history of Ethiopia in and of itself, and its complex relationship to the histories of the African continent, the wider African diaspora, and the world at large.

Saturday, October 17

Introductory Remarks

  • Hoor Al Qasimi, President, Sharjah Art Foundation and The Africa Institute
  • Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
  • Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Associate Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Dagmawi Woubshet – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Surafel Wondimu Abebe – Assistant Professor at the Centre for African Studies and Researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Session 1

Exceptionalism and Historiography of Ethiopia

Moderator & Discussant

Tibebe Eshete – Pocock Family Distinguished Visiting Assistant Professor of History, The College of Wooster, Ohio, USA

Keynote 1

Ethiopia: Symbol of Black Dignity and Independence

Bahru Zewde – Emeritus Professor of History, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Sunday, October 18

Session 2

Ethiopia and the Black Diasporic Imagination | Learn More

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Session 3

Tumultuous Times: Ethiopia Revolution and Derg Years | Learn More

Moderator & Discussant

Shimelis Bonsa Gulema – Associate Professor of Modern African History and Politics, SUNY Stony Brook University, New York, USA

Monday, October 19

Film Screening + Talk: Spacial and Other Memories: Meskel Square’s Contribution

Square Stories Trilogy | Learn More
2010 | 75 mins
Ye Wonz Maibel – Deluge
1997 | 61 mins
Directed by Salem MekuriaSalem Mekuria – Filmmaker and Professor Emeritus, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA
Dagmawi Woubshet – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Film Screening + Talk: The Modern Archive

Twilight Revelations: The Life and Times of Emperor Haile Selassie |
Learn More
Directed by Yemane Demissie
2009 | 58 minsYemane Demissie – Professor, New York University, USA
Takele Merid – Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Wednesday, October 21

Session 4

Artist Focus: A Dialogue with Julie Mehretu

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Session 5

The State of Visual Art in Ethiopia: A Roundtable

Moderator & Discussant

Salah M. Hassan – Director, The Africa Institute, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Saturday, October 24

Session 6

Writing Ethiopia: Identity and the Literary Imagination

Moderator & Discussant

Elizabeth W. Giorgis – Associate Professor of Theory and Criticism, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Session 7

Modernity and Memory: Ethiopia’s Histories

Moderator & Discussant

Surafel Wondimu Abebe – Assistant Professor at the Centre for African Studies and Researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Sunday, October 25

Session 8

Diasporic Ethiopia: Migration and Exile

Film Screening: Va’ Pensiero – Walking stories

Moderator & Discussant

Dagmawi Woubshet¬ – Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Keynote 2

Beyond Exceptionalism: Ethiopia in the History of International Law


Adom Getachew – Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago, USA

Opening Statements

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