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Harvard University’s African Studies Workshop Featuring Kay Kaufman Shelemay: “Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism”

Published in 2014, Seminar Presentation, Shelemay, Kay Kaufman - Archived on July 20th, 2014

Title: Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism
Author: Kay Kaufman Shelemay (Professor of Music and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University)
Published: Seminar Presentation, African Studies Workshop at Harvard University
Language: English
Keywords: Ethnography, Ethnomusicology, Music, Oromo Nationalism

On March 3, 2014, Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, presented, “Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism.” Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University, was the discussant.

– Source: African Studies at Harvard University

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Environmental Destruction in Ethiopia: A Leading Factor in Oromo Migration

Published in 2013, Addisu, Mardaasa, Seminar Presentation - Archived on November 28th, 2013

Title: Environmental Destruction in Ethiopia: A Leading Factor in Oromo Migration
Author: Mardaasa Addisu
Published: Seminar Presentation, the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association (Theme: “Mobility, Migration and Flows”)
Language: English
Keywords: Environmental Destruction, Oromia, Migration, Forced Displacement

Abstract:
This paper demonstrates that the Oromo population of Ethiopia, who live on the largest and most resource‐rich land area, are denied key environmental protections in their homelands. Drawing together data from research conducted in a number of Oromo areas, the paper explores how massive state and corporate projects intent on accessing valuable resources cause environmental destruction, which results in involuntary forced displacement of the Oromo population.

I compile significant evidence of environment destruction to argue that it is a major cause of ongoing forced displacement. These data have not previously been brought together coherently. Actions covered include massive forest fires set by newly‐arrived settlers, bodies of water in Oromia polluted by state‐sponsored industrial development, ecological destruction and displacement due to state reallocation of land to private businesses, and seed and fertilizer manipulation schemes which make farming untenable for peoples who treasure the land. The combined impact forces massive displacement of Oromo. Donor nations have demonstrated little awareness of the scale of the displacement, showing a slow response to environmental issues. Based on the findings, the study attempts to establish the scale of the forced displacement, then provides some policy recommendations to address the reoccurring issue.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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Promoting and Developing Oromummaa

Published in 2012, Jalata, Asafa, Seminar Presentation - Archived on January 13th, 2013

Note: Repost due to server data loss.

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Title: Promoting and Developing Oromummaa
Author: Asafa Jalata
Published: Seminar Presentation
Language: English
Keywords: Oromummaa, national liberation, settler colonialism, social emancipation

Abstract:
As any concept, Oromummaa has different meanings on conventional, theoretical, and political, and ideological levels.

Although the colonizers of the Oromo deny, most Oromos know their linguistic, cultural, historical, political, and behavioral patters that have closely connect together all of their sub-identities to the Oromo nation. There is a clear conventional understanding among all Oromo branches and individuals on these issues. The Oromo national movement has gradually expanded the essence and meaning of Oromummaa. The colonization of the Oromo and the disruption of their collective identity and the repression and exploitation of Oromo society have increased the commitment of some Oromo nationalists for the restoration of the Oromo national identity and the achievement of statehood and sovereignty through developing the intellectual, theoretical, and ideological aspects of Oromummaa. In other words, some Oromo nationalists and their supporters have started to further develop the concept of Oromummaa as a cultural, historical, political, and ideological project for recapturing the best elements of the Oromo tradition, critically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Oromo society, and for formulating a broad-based program of action to mobilize the nation for social emancipation and national liberation.

In this paper, I argue that the critical and thorough comprehension of all aspects of Oromummaa is necessary to build a more united Oromo national movement. First, the paper introduces the conventional meaning of Oromummaa through identifying and explaining the major cultural and historical markers that differentiate the Oromo from their neighbors and other ethno-national groups. Second, it examines how Ethiopian settler colonialism has slowed the full development of Oromummaa by suppressing the Oromo national identity and culture, by killing real Oromo leaders and creating subservient or collaborative leadership, and by destroying and outlawing Oromo national institutions and organizations. Third, the piece illustrates how Oromo diversity can be recognized and celebrated within a democratic national unity. Fourth, it explores the concept of national and global Oromummaa as history, culture, identity, and nationalism. Fifth, the paper demonstrates how expanded Oromummaa can serve as the central and unifying ideology of the Oromo national movement for social emancipation and national liberation.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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Who Owns the Ethiopian Nation-State?

Published in 2012, Mukhtar, Udub M., Seminar Presentation - Archived on January 13th, 2013

Note: Repost due to server data loss.

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Title: Who Owns the Ethiopian Nation-State?
Author: Udub M. Mukhtar, PhD
Published: Seminar Presentation (Ogaden News Agency (ONA))
Language: English
Keywords: Ogaden, Abyssinia, conquest, occupation, annexation, colonization, militarism, imperialism, nation-state, nation-building

Abstract:

“[T]he goal of nation building should not be to impose common identities on deeply divided peoples, but to organize states that can administer their territories and allow people to live together despite differences. And, if organizing such a state within the old internationally recognized borders does not seem possible, the international community should admit that nation building may require the disintegration of old states and the formation of new ones.”

The ownership of the Ethiopian nation-state was problematic from its inception in the last quarter of the 19th century, and particularly from the perspective of non-Abyssinian nations. Incongruous state formation processes resulted in conquest, occupation, annexation, colonization, militarism and imperialism which aggravated harmony among Ethiopian ethnic groups. This paper explores the ownership of the Ethiopian nation-state. Part I delivers four sections of the paper. Other parts of the paper are delivered through a serious of documents bearing the same main title, but with different subtitles. The first section in this part provides a brief introduction to the problems discussed in this paper. The second section presents a summary into the history of the Ethiopian state formation and its annexation of Somali Ogaden territories. The third section introduces a unique and novel definition for, and reviews the different underlying theories of, the nation-state. The fourth section describes a model, or operational expectations of a nation-state, and the practice of nation and institution building in Ethiopia against this model. The last section provides for concluding remarks.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format: http://gadaa.com/OromoStudies/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WhoOwnsTheEthiopianNation_State2012.pdf

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Transcontinental Emerging New Media Practices and Oromo Youth in Galvanizing Oromummaa

Published in 2012, Dugo, Habtamu, Seminar Presentation - Archived on September 15th, 2012

Title: Transcontinental Emerging New Media Practices and Oromo Youth in Galvanizing Oromummaa
Author: Habtamu Dugo
Published: Seminar Presentation
Language: English
Keywords: Oromummaa, Oromo media, new media, new media practices

Abstract:
Following the outflux of the Oromo to various Western and African diasporas in search of shelters from massive persecutions inflicted upon them by the Tigire-domianted Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF/TPLF) in the early 1990s, the Oromo have been utilizing new media technologies to tell their stories. Since the Oromo have been demonized and their stories have been misrepresented (or distorted) worldwide by the Habesha group and some complicit expatriates for over a century, the extension of the earliest practices of countering those misrepresentations and telling accurate stories on the new media can approximately be traced to the late 1990s, when only a few websites dedicated to Oromo socio-political issues such as www.oromolibeartionfront.org and www.oromiaonline.com were active. At the turn of the 21st century, Oromo online presence increased further with the addition of newer and independent websites. In the second half of 2000s, as in anywhere in the world, Oromo new media practices exploded on multiple platforms—the Web, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, professional networks, listservs and email groups. The purpose of this paper is to analytically explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the explosion of emerging new media practices in reviving Oromummaa and Oromo unity. It is very important to analyze the trends in youth and adult new media practices so as to map the problems and recommend solutions that are relevant in advancing the usage of new media for productive purposes. I argue that current Oromo new media practices are diverse, fragmented, individualized and even polarized, hampering the development of Oromummaa as the pan-Oromian national identity. The paper proposes some strategies toward the integration of emergent Oromo new media practices.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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