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Fall 2023 Middle East UN3132 section 001
Burntface ( ): The Idea
Burntface/The Idea of Eth

Call Number 13155
Day & Time
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Elleni Zeleke
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Burntface is the usual way in which the Greek word Αἰθιοπία (Ethiopia) is translated into English. This course asks, who is an Ethiopian and where is Ethiopia?

The geography of Ethiopia has shifted over time to designate many things, including: (1) all of the African continent; (2) all Black people; (3) lower Egypt and the Sudan; (4) a medieval Christian kingdom in Africa; (5) the contemporary nation-state in North-East Africa; and finally (6) Black Zion. These various designations have had different political meanings and have shaped the way the past is interpreted by various actors in their present. We see examples of this in the way an idea of Ethiopia was taken up in the activities of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa, but also in the Rastafari movement in Jamaica in the early 20th century, and even in the contemporary nation-state now called Ethiopia.

This course introduces students to the history of the idea of Ethiopia and asks how that history intersects with both the modern nation-state in North-East Africa and the various global social movements known as Ethiopianism. We will ask about the history and geography of Ethiopia and seek to show how shifts in the idea of Ethiopia have sedimented into our present understanding of Ethiopia. In this vein, we will read the secondary literature that contributes to our understanding of what falls under the name Ethiopia, and ask how that can help us track the development of the idea of Ethiopia over time and space. We will also read primary material from advocates of Ethiopianist social movements scattered across the globe. By focusing on the history of the idea of Ethiopia, this course highlights the way African ideas, politics, and social movements have always been global and are essential to understanding the modern world.

Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 6 students (25 max) as of 9:06PM Thursday, June 13, 2024
Subject Middle East
Number UN3132
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20233MDES3132W001

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SIS update 06/13/24 21:06    web update 08/18/23 09:15