Renewed Engagement: Religion, Ethnicity, and Current Politics in Ethiopia

07 Oct 2020


ACMCU and the African Studies Program invite you to the following special event:



Dr. Data D. Barata

Data D. Barata (PhD) is professor of anthropology at California State University, Sacramento. He has conducted extensive field research in various parts of Ethiopia with focus on understanding connections between identity, state power and the struggle for equal rights. He has published extensively on contemporary issues in Ethiopia including ethnicity and the struggle for equal citizenship; questions around land policies and property rights, local governance and state-society conflicts. His most recent publication is Contesting Inequality, Identity and Rights in Ethiopia, 2019, Routledge.

Dr. Terje Østebø

Terje Østebø received his PhD in the History of Religion from Stockholm University, and is currently the chair of the Department of Religion and associate professor at the Center for African Studies and the Department of Religion, University of Florida. He is also the founding director of the UF Center for Global Islamic Studies. His research interests are Islam in contemporary Ethiopia, Islam, politics, and Islamic reformism in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, ethnicity and religion, as well as Salafism in Africa. He has lived in Ethiopia for 6 years, and has extensive field-research experience. Major publications include Islam, Ethnicity, and Conflict in Ethiopia: The Bale Insurgency (1963-1970), forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2020; African Salafism: Religious Purity and the Politicization of Purity” in Islamic Africa, 6, 1-2, 2015; Muslim Ethiopia: The Christian Legacy, Identity Politics, and Islamic Reformism (co-edited with Patrick Desplat), (Palgrave-Macmillan 2013); Localising Salafism: Religious Change among Oromo Muslims in Bale, Ethiopia (Brill 2012); Islamism in the Horn of Africa: Assessing Ideology, Actors, and Objectives, International Law and Policy Institute (2010).

Dr. John O. Voll - Moderator

John O. Voll is Professor Emeritus of Islamic History and past Associate Director of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his M.A. degree in Middle Eastern Studies and his Ph.D. degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard. He taught Middle Eastern and world history for thirty years at the University of New Hampshire before moving to Georgetown University. He is a specialist in modern Islamic history and the author of Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World, co-editor of Asian Islam in the 21st Century, co-author of Islam and Democracy After The Arab Spring ( Oxford University Press, 2015), and author, co-author, or editor of ten other books as well as numerous articles. He is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association and of the New England Historical Association, has served on the Boards of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Sudan Studies Association, the World History Association, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, and the New Hampshire Council on World Affairs, and was program chair for the 1999 annual meeting of the American Historical Association. He has lived in Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel and done research on Islamic movements in sub-Saharan Africa and east and southeast Asia as well as in the Middle East.

Dr. Lahra Smith - Discussant

Lahra Smith is a Political Scientist with a particular interest in African politics, migration and refugees, and citizenship and equality. Her book, Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender and National Identity in Ethiopia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. She teaches courses on migration, women and politics and theory and policy in Africa. She is the CSJ Faculty Fellow for African Migration and a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM). Professor Smith has taught and conducted research in refugee camps in East and Southern Africa, and has ongoing research on civic education programs in Kenya, particularly focused on the role of teachers as active agents of citizen-creation. Smith is a First Gen college student, and is a mentor in the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP) and loves working with international students, First Gen students and others who might have had unique pathways to Georgetown.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sponsored By: 
ACMCU and the African Studies Program, Georgetown University