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“After #CadaanStudies: Decolonizing and Democratizing Area Studies”

October 8, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Location:201D St. Patrick's Building

THE INSTITUTE OF AFRICAN STUDIES, THE INSTITUTE FOR COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN LITERATURE, ART AND CULTURE (ICSLAC) & SAHAN LITERARY FORUM PRESENT: “After #CadaanStudies: Decolonizing and Democratizing Area Studies” (an ICSLAC Workshop). Thursday, 8 October, 11:30am, St Patrick’s Building 201D. With 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 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.