A home to over 80 ethnic groups, Ethiopia has striking cultures and history that are distinct from Western traditions. As the only African country that successfully resisted European colonial invasion and one of the oldest Christian nations in the world, Ethiopia holds a special place in the continent and throughout the African diaspora. In Islamic traditions as well, Ethiopia has been regarded as special and unique because the Prophet Mohammed requested asylum for his followers from the Christian king of Ethiopia who gave them sanctuary in the seventh century. The course examines the culture, religion, communities, history, socio-economic and political developments, art and literature, sports, cuisine, education, Ethiopian diaspora in the US, and other major themes from the ancient times to the modern period. Active class participation, short papers, and midterm examinations are required.Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Communities & Identities core requirement.
Tsega Etefa is an African historian focusing on East Africa. Born and raised in Ethiopia, he was a history lecturer at Ethiopia’s oldest institution of higher education, Addis Ababa University. He also taught Ethiopian culture and history at University of Hamburg (Germany), where he completed his doctorate (2006).