Remembering Adwa at its Quasquicentennial Anniversary: Politics of History and Memory at a Unique National and Global Moment

Fana Gebresenbet's picture

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Call for Papers
August 19, 2020
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Political History / Studies, African American History / Studies

Call for Abstracts to a Special Issue of the Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities (EJOSSAH)

Remembering Adwa at its Quasquicentennial Anniversary: Politics of History and Memory at a Unique National and Global Moment

In March 2021, the 125th year’s anniversary of the Adwa victory against Italian colonial forces will be celebrated. In the last years of the 19th century and early decades of the 20th century, Adwa victory came to be the most important defining feature in Ethiopia’s engagement with the world, while animating anti-colonial and black consciousness movements throughout the world. A lot has been studied into the historical context, factors and conditions which contributed to this unique historical victory. Little examination has however been made to look into Adwa’s relevance to contemporary national and global political and social contestations.

The current moment—with the murky political transition in Ethiopia and the global decolonization movements—provides a unique opportunity to examine the continued relevance of Adwa (or lack thereof) in social and political contestations. The post-2018 political situation in Ethiopia has created a space for re-interpretation of history to serve immediate political ends. Indeed, history has turned into a battlefield where political interests and framings get strings of justifications (no matter how contested). At regional and international levels, the importance of Adwa to decolonialization movements of all sorts and hues seems to have been lost. Contemporary emancipatory movements have limited linkage with the grand anticolonial victories such as Adwa.  Neither is there a concerted action from Ethiopia to engage with the most recent global moment enticed by the Black Lives Matter movement. 

With this context in mind, EJOSSAH aims to publish a special issue with a specific focus on memory and remembering Adwa from various vantage points. The special issue will consider (not exclusive) the following themes:

  • Remembering Adwa in times of ‘Ethiopian’/’ethno-linguistic’ nationalism;
  • Adwa and Eritrean nationalism/independence;
  • Adwa in popular culture (music, movies … );
  • State-Religion Relations and Adwa;
  • Relevance of Adwa to Ethiopia’s foreign policy;
  • Putting Adwa in context: African early resistance to colonialism;
  • De-racialization, Decolonization and Pan-Africanism;
  • Adwa and contemporary emancipatory movements

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 19th of August, 2020. Authors of selected abstracts will be contacted by 25 August, and they will be required to submit a full paper by 16th November 2020.


Any inquiries about this special issue can be addressed to the guest editors. Submissions should be sent to

Contact Info: 

Dr. Fana Gebresenbet

P.O.Box 150286

Institute for Peace and Security Studies

Addis Ababa University

Contact Email: 
Categories: CFP