SIT Study Abroad is pleased to announce a faculty development seminar to Ethiopia 19-25 March 2006. This seminar will provide an introduction to Ethiopia for faculty wishing to expand their knowledge of African countries and/or pursue research interests in Ethiopia. Ann Lee Grimstad Omondi, Assistant Director of African Studies at SIT Study Abroad and Dr. Neal Sobania, Executive Director of the Wang Center for International Programs at Pacific Lutheran University, will lead the trip. Professor Sobania has 35 years of experience in Ethiopia and has taught and written extensively on the history, culture, and art of Ethiopia. He has worked with Ms. Omondi in developing SIT’s new study abroad program in Ethiopia that starts in Fall 2006.
Participants in this faculty development program will receive an overview of the rich history of Ethiopia, particularly the influence of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, during two days of lectures and tours in Addis Ababa. Travel to Lalibela and Axum will allow faculty to understand and experience some of Ethiopia’s World Heritage Sites and famous monuments. The goals of the program include enabling faculty to incorporate the study of Ethiopia into their work, increasing faculty and student awareness of study abroad opportunities in non-traditional locations, and, more broadly, promoting a more prominent place for African Studies in U.S. undergraduate curricula.
Though Ethiopia’s human history dates back three million years to the days of Australopithecus afarensis, better known as "Lucy", the period we will be highlighting on this trip is Ethiopia’s Age of Empires from the Axumite Kingdom through the Zagwe period. We will emphasize the interplay between the emperors, religion, and the arts during this period. For more than six hundred years, Axum was the capital of one of the most powerful empires of the era, ruling much of the Red Sea and the trade therein. The Solomonic dynasty that ruled Ethiopia for close to three thousand years began with Menelik, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon of Jerusalem. One of Axum’s most famous religious relics is the Ark of the Covenant, believed by the faithful to be housed next to the St. Mary of Zion Church. Religious and historical symbolism permeates palaces, tombs, obelisks, church paintings, and architecture of Axum and Lalibela.
We are developing an exciting schedule that will include:
Lectures on the history of Ethiopia, particularly of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Visit to the museum at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University
Opportunities to meet with Ethiopian faculty and professionals in parallel fields to discuss research interests and possible collaborations
Site visits to the monolithic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and the stelae and other archaeological remains at the historical capital of Axum
The cost for the program is $2000, which will include shared accommodation, most meals, all lectures and site visits. Participants will be required to plan and purchase their international airfare separately, in time to begin sessions at 10 am on 19 March in Addis Ababa. The official program will end 25 March.
Faculty wishing to participate in the SIT seminar to Ethiopia should submit a letter of interest to SIT by December 1, 2005. We would like to confirm participation by December 15, 2005. This letter should include:
Institutional and departmental affiliation;
Brief statement of academic background, relevant experience, and disciplinary interests;
Profile of the institution’s African Studies offerings and description of the faculty member’s involvement with African Studies;
Expected outcomes from the faculty development program in Ethiopia, including how the experience will be incorporated into teaching and research.
You can find more information on SIT’s Ethiopia: Sacred Traditions and Visual Culture program at http://www.sit.edu/studyabroad/africa/ets.html
Address letters and inquiries to:
SIT Study Abroad
P.O. Box 676
Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676
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