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College of Arts and Sciences » Simpson Center for the Humanities

Horn of Africa Initiative - The Politics of Heritage in Southern Ethiopia: Representation of the Wolaita
Horn of Africa Initiative - The Politics of Heritage in Southern Ethiopia: Representation of the Wolaita
WhenThursday, Jan. 23, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsCo-sponsors: African Studies Program, Horn of Africa Initiative, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Comparative History of Ideas, Department of History, Department of Anthropology, Burke Archeology
Description

Postcolonial theory has offered important critiques of the representation of minority groups in the field of heritage studies. However, the colonizer/colonized binary often found in postcolonial theory can be problematic in a country that has “never been formally colonized.” Situating postcolonial discourse in Ethiopia, I explore the representational strategies of the Wolaita across various museal and tourist spaces.  As one of the largest minority groups in southern Ethiopia, Wolaita culture and heritage provide an entrée into the politics of representation in Africa more broadly and the ways in which identity is reified and by various institutions.

Dr. Justin Dunnavant is an Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory. He holds a BA in History and Anthropology from Howard University and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. While his former research interrogated the history and representation of minority groups in southern Ethiopia, his current work in the US Virgin Islands investigates the relationship between ecology and enslavement in the former Danish West Indies. Justin has conducted archaeological research in US Virgin Islands, Belize, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, and The Gambia.

As a regular participant in Diving with A Purpose’s Maritime Archaeology Training Program, Justin is developing his skills in maritime archaeology. Working with DWP, he has assisted with the documentation of the Slobodna and Acorn wrecks as well as the search for the slave ship, Guerrero.

In addition to his archaeological research, Justin is co-founder and President of the Society of Black Archaeologists, an AAUS Scientific SCUBA Diver, and consults for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Slave Wrecks Project.

Printed: Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 6:38 AM PST