From the Editor
As incoming editor of Northeast African Studies, I am delighted to announce that the journal resumed publication in 2010. This distinguished journal was founded and edited for more than 20 years by the late Harold Marcus, whose energy and dedication to the scholarly study of Ethiopia and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa inspired several generations of students and scholars throughout the world.
While Northeast African Studies will bring some changes in focus and format, the editors remain committed to the high standards of research, writing, and production that the original journal championed. I welcome this opportunity to serve for the next several years as General Editor and invite all those interested in advancing knowledge of the region to join me and the editorial board as we build upon the tradition that Harold began.
Lee V. Cassanelli
University of Pennsylvania
Upcoming Issue Themes
Transitional Justice Mechanisms in the Context of Somalia - Somalia has been overwhelmed by protracted violent conflicts for more than two decades. As the world has witnessed, numerous gross human rights violations of massive proportions have been committed by various actors in this war torn country (UNHCR Report on Somalia 2011). Yet the literature on transitional justice has remained mostly silent on addressing the question of transitional justice mechanism(s) for Somalia. Consequently, Somalia represents an opportunity to conduct rigorous empirical research on both past and current mass human rights violations in the context of limited or failed statehood, as well as to reflect on the costs and benefits of prosecuting such violations in the context of efforts at national reconciliation in that country.
Muslims and Christians in Northeast Africa: Juxtaposed Stories, Intertwined Destinies - Against simplified notions of Muslim-Christian competition, recent works have explored the question of inter-religious encounter, differentiating among various levels of compromise while awknowledging that misunderstandings can foster dissention and arouse conflict. But situations of coexistance are marginal by nature, and interactions (through exchanges, dialogue or conflicts) occur at the limits of communities. These margins hold together the pages of a notebook in which different stories unfold. This issue presents case studies of the Christian and Muslim societies of Northeast Africa that consider how each group's strategies of adaption reveal convergent trends, and how they evolved on parallel lines in the same regional context, with intertwined destinies.
Engaging the Image of Art, Culture, and Philosophy: Perspectives on Ethiopian Modernity and Modernism - This special edition aims to historicize the making of Ethiopian modernity and modernism from the perspectives of discourse and cultural practice. Picking up on diverse, tenuous and culture-specific notions of the production of discourse such as performance, ritual, secular and religious texts, and the visual arts, it examines the texture of Ethiopian modernity and its trajectory. One of the first few attempts to examine Ethiopian modernity through a critical framework that intersects with local and global discourses of modernity, this special edition investigates the nature and parameters of Ethiopian modernity through the cultural complexities of popular language, literature, and visual arts that play out in forms of collective expression and performance.
This distinguished journal seeks to publish scholarly articles on all aspects of Northeast African studies, including but not limited to works in the social sciences and humanities. We particularly welcome contributions that rethink established debates and paradigms in the field, that address issues with comparative implications for scholars working in other parts of the world, or that draw upon new or underutilized source materials and disciplinary methodologies.
We consider Northeast Africa to include the Nile Valley, the Red Sea, and the lands adjacent to both, and so invite articles on patterns and processes that characterize the region as a whole. We hope to make Northeast African Studies a “must-read” journal not only for other area specialists but also for those engaged in comparative and transnational studies.
We will actively encourage submissions from Africa-based researchers, as well as papers based on collaborative research by African and overseas scholars.