News / The Diaspora

Warsaw hosts the 19th Int’l Conference of Ethiopian Studies late this month


Old Library

Old Library of the Warsaw University where the 19th ICES will take place 19th ICES / Facebook

The 19th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES) will take place between 24 – 28 August 2015 in Warsaw, Poland.

This year’s conference, organized by the University of Warsaw with help from Addis Ababa University (AAU), will see hundreds of scholars presenting papers on wide-ranging subjects from law and judiciary, archaeology and heritage management, to political science, gender issues, women rights and the arts.

“The aim of the Conference of Ethiopian Studies is to allow scholars, students, and others interested in Ethiopian Studies to present the outcome of their research, to exchange their experience, knowledge and ideas on different aspects of Ethiopian culture and that of the Horn of Africa,” the conference website states.

Over 400 presentations are lined-up — in parallel sessions — on this year’s conference whose theme is “Diversity and Interconnections through Space and Time”.

“We hope that the 19th ICES will provide an opportunity to reflect upon the Orbis Aethiopicus, its diversity and interconnections in space and time,” organizers stated in a circular. “Through choosing such a motto for the Conference, we want to encourage scholars to combine methodological approaches, seek new connections between disciplines, shed new light on recurring issues, and look for a plurality of voices and perspectives.”

Two lectures are expected to be the highlight of the conference. On Tuesday, August 25, Chairperson of Department of Linguistics at AAU, Professor Baye Yimam will share his research on “Movement, Contact and Diffusion of Features in the Ethiopian Language Area”, while Yaqob Arsano, the Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at AAU, will deliver a lecture on “The New Hydro-diplomacy of the Nile”, Thursday, August 28.


Poster of the “Ethiopic in Polish Harvest” exhibition at the State Ethnographic Museum, which is currently open and runs until end of the month 19th ICES / Facebook

The gathering is scheduled to end on Friday in a closing banquet at the State Ethnographic Museum — the same venue where an exhibition devoted to Ethiopian objects from Polish ethnographic collections is currently taking place. The display includes personal papers of eminent Polish scholars, as well as books donated to the Warsaw University by HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.

The ICES, which happens every three years, was first held in Rome, Italy in April 1959. Ever since, a series of interdisciplinary conferences were held at various cities in Europe, America, Japan and Ethiopia. As of 1991, every third conference has taken place in Ethiopia, with the 17th ICES — the 50th Anniversary — held at the Kailiti Campus of the Addis Ababa University in November 2009. The last ICES was also held in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia in 2012.

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