The Department of Ethiopian Literature and Folklore (DELF) emerged as a full-fledged department from the old Department of Ethiopian Languages and Literature (DELL) established in 1962. The new Department of Ethiopian Literature and Folklore is composed of 15 staff members who specialize in literature and folklore, and who were redeployed from the former Institute of Language Studies (ILS) and College of Education. (CoE).
The mission of the department of Ethiopian Literature and Folklore is to provide research and teaching in the areas of written literature and oral traditions and to produce professionals who are capable of doing systematic study and documentation of texts, conducting research, and writing about Ethiopian verbal and written traditions. Graduated students will then contribute to the strength and health of these fields at other institutions and foster understanding of the wealth of Ethiopian literature and Folklore. Faculty, through teaching, research, speaking, and publication, will inform and define the field while developing its richness and shaping its direction. The department enables students to engage critically with varied aspects of oral and written literatures in Ethiopia. The program is unique in the way it encourages exploration of relationships between indigenous Ethiopian aesthetics and contemporary literary and folkloric theories. The courses are designed to provide theoretical and methodological skills. Currently the department runs the following programs: BA in Folklore (Cultural Studies), MA in Ethiopian Literature and Folklore, PhD in Ethiopian Literature and PhD in Folklore.