Protestantism, Education, and Ethiopian Nationhood in Wolaita (1941-1991)

SÉMINAIRE/ SEMINAR

CFEE Seminar on Contemporary Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (2015-2016)

2ème séance / 2nd session: Forcing the Door of the Nation: Protestantism, Education, and Ethiopian Nationhood in Wolaita (1941-1991), par/by Pierre GUIDI

In partnership with the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University.

Lundi 26 octobre 2015 (14h-16h) / Monday October 26th 2015 (2-4 PM). Lieu / Venue : Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Empress Menen Hall, Addis Ababa University.

Forcing the Door of the Nation: Protestantism, Education, and Ethiopian Nationhood in Wolaita (1960-1974), par/by Pierre GUIDI

This communication analyzes how the Wolaita, in southern Ethiopia, used education to create a new sense of national belonging and, thus, struggled to redefine Ethiopian nationhood in the two last decades of Hayla Sellasé’s regime. From 1941, Emperor Hayla Sellasé’s commitment to centralization came with the objective of cultural homogenization. The national school system was the focus of this policy; it aimed at spreading Amharic language and the values ​​of the Orthodox Christian north. In Wolaita, the first students were the children of northern settlers. However, in the 1960s, young Wolaita recently converted to Protestantism entered school, determined to play their part in the nation through education. But their willingness to be both Ethiopian and Protestants clashed with the official ideology. Analyzing the dynamics of schooling in Wolaita reveals how local actors, negotiating with Ethiopian and Wolaita identities, created new forms of belonging to the national political community.

L’intervenant / The speaker

Pierre Guidi est historien, chercheur affilié à l’Institut des mondes africains (IMAF, UMR 8171), spécialiste de l’histoire de l’éducation en Éthiopie contemporaine. Cette communication est issue de sa thèse de doctorat, soutenue en décembre 2014 à l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.

Pierre Guidi, historian, is associate researcher at Institut des mondes africains (IMAF, UMR 8171). He is specialized in history of education in contemporary Ethiopia. This presentation is an outcome of his PhD dissertation, defended at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne in December 2014.

Photo: © Institute of Ethiopian Studies


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