Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Postcolonial Area Studies

October 7, 2015 — October 8, 2015


The Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC) and Sahan Literary Forum  present

Two Events on Postcolonial Area Studies:

“Can the Somali Speak?”
Wednesday, 7 October, 4pm, Dunton Tower Room 2017


Safia Aidid, PhD Candidate, Harvard University


Hawa Y Mire, MES Candidate, York University


After #CadaanStudies: Decolonizing and Democratizing Area Studies” (an ICSLAC Workshop)
Thursday, 8 October, 11:30am, St Patrick’s Building 201D


Safia Aidid, PhD Candidate, Harvard University


About #CadaanStudies: In March 2015, the hashtag #CadaanStudies (translated to #whitestudies) sparked a fierce social media debate around the globe to discuss “questions of power, authority and knowledge production about the Somali territories” and the continued marginalization of Somalis in academic discourse. The conversations generated by #CadaanStudies activism has revealed a new generation of young Somali scholars in the diaspora – multilingual, well versed in Western academia and able to speak back. It has also been a moment which has democratized discussions about knowledge production and the academic field of Somali Studies through social media, as Somalis reacted, responded, engaged and claimed a stake in academic knowledge production about them. These events will reflect on #CadaanStudies and its relevance to decolonizing knowledge production, its future implications for the development of a critical Somali Studies, and the importance of public scholarship and engagement.

Safia Aidid is a PhD Candidate in History at Harvard University. Her research interests include empire, decolonization and state-making, national and cultural imaginaries, political geography, and historical ethnography. She is now working on a dissertation titled “Ethiopia, Greater Somalia and the Somali Nationalist Imagination,” which examines Somali nationalism and its interaction with the Ethiopian state between 1943 and 1988.

Hawa Y. Mire is a diasporic Somali storyteller, writer, and strategist who focuses on themes of Blackness and Indigeniety, (dis)connection and (un)belonging. Her writing is seated somewhere between oral tradition and the written word, celestial and myth, past and present, ancestry and spirit. An MES candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, her research incorporates traditional Somali stories with discourses of constructed identity while pulling from archival histories of resistance and radical curatorial practices.