PANEL 4.02

Rethinking the anthropology of Ethiopia - from ethnography to explanation

Jon Abbink , ASC Leiden, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands.

In this panel we propose to take stock of the contributions of post-WWII ethnology-anthropology on Ethiopia and of its relevance in Ethiopian/African studies. A large number of innovative and in-depth studies has highlighted the richness of Ethiopian peoples and cultures and their relations to evolving political and economic frameworks. It has produced a varied and irreplaceable corpus of socio-cultural knowledge which has not only been useful for the development of the academic field of anthropology and sociology, but also for policy-making and for the preservation and redefinition of social and ethnic communities in the country that are attached to their heritage and future existence. But the anthropology of Ethiopia despite these achievements is in need of stocktaking and redefinition. While its ethnographic tasks are undiminished in the face of processes of change, policy challenges and ethnocentrism, and while many communities have turned trans-national (i.e., migrants and refugee communities that keep contact with the home front and/or produce cyberspace identities), anthropology needs less empiricism and more comparison and theoretical interpretation to highlight the potential and importance of Ethiopian case studies for the social science field in general and to develop better explanations of observed processes in particular. In this respect, a better link-up with wider (inter)disciplinary and theoretical developments is fruitful. The panel invites papers on comparative, methodological and theoretically grounded issues in the anthropology of Ethiopia and on the future role of field-based anthropology in Ethiopia and the Horn.

> Return to the list of selected panels




Rethinking anthropology– some challenges



How to study one’s culture and learn about that of others: a comparative analysis of studying and teaching anthropology in Ethiopia and Slovenia.



Over the hills and far away – the art of not being governed in Ethiopia



Moral Voices : the Dynamics of Amhara Kinship in the Light of Cognitive Anthropology



From ethnography to rhetoric culture theory


Authors are advised to submit their paper to the Organizing Committee
before September 30, 2012

Papers will be published as pre-proceedings on the website, under each panel section.

Papers should be limited to ca. 5000 words or 30,000 signs (including spaces).

Papers have to be submitted online, by uploading under each panel section (go to the page of the panel in which your paper is selected and upload your text).

Papers can also be sent to the Organizing Committee ( with specification of panel number.

Submitted papers will be directly transmitted to the panel organizers and published online after approval by the panel organizers.

Guidelines to authors for formatting papers:

Transilteration systems for Ethiosemitic languages

submit your paper (.doc / .odt / .pdf) *