Seminar & conferences

The Department of History has a long standing tradition of holding annual departmental seminars. Some of the seminars were devoted to examining key themes in Ethiopian historiography while others focused on a broad range of topics. Among the themes that have been examined in these seminars are Land use and Agriculture (Third Seminar, Bahir Dar, 1985); Urban history (Fourth Seminar, Awassa, 1987); Gender (8th Seminar, Zway, 1999). The seminars involved members of the Department, graduate students as well as faculty from other departments in Addis Ababa University and visiting professors from abroad. A number of the papers from these seminars have been published and because of their originality are still quoted in different research works. The Departmental seminars were discontinued for various reasons after 2001; there are plans to revive this important institution in the near future.

In collaboration with the French Center in Addis Ababa and the African and Oriental Studies Center of AAU, the Department organized a series of seminars on “Forced Migrations and Labor; Slaves and Slavery from an Ethiopian Perspective” in 2013 and 2014.

The Department has also organized different conferences on its own or in collaboration with other institutions. The most recent conference the Department organized was an “International Conference on History and Historiography of Radicalism in Ethiopia” which was held on February 28 and March 1, 2014 in Addis Ababa. This conference was organized to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Department of History and to mark the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution. Twenty three papers were presented at this conference by historians from Addis Ababa University, the regional universities and from outside the country, mainly from Italy and Sweden. Among the themes addressed were historiography, military history, terror and violence, religion and radicalism, land, agriculture and the social history of property. The conference was highly successful and was able to draw participants from the regional universities, high school teachers fromAddis Ababa, government ministries, and independent writers and scholars. The conference also served as an important forum to discuss contemporary conditions of the history profession in Ethiopia and its future trajectories.