Research Fellows (two fellowships available):The Research Fellows will be tasked with conducting in-depth research into designated topics. Working closely with the co-directors, each will establish priorities for research and writing and will ensure that these goals are met in line with project needs. They will continually evaluate new ideas in light of the scope of the project, conduct project-related research, write and publish individually and collaboratively with other team members and co-directors, and report on results at team meetings and other activities. These fellows will engage with internal and external partners to create, monitor, and enhance an engaging and interactive online resource on their research topics while thinking creatively about the ways that early modern food cultures resonate with modern ones.
Applicants must have an understanding of early modern print and manuscript cultures. A demonstrated ability to read and transcribe English secretary hand is desirable. Project work, research, or familiarity with food histories, representations, cultures, etc. in the early modern period is strongly preferred. Applicants must have experience and fluidity with social media outreach in scholarly communities and an enthusiasm for introduction to academic-adjacent career paths, including academic administration, specialized library work, and the organization of and promotion of public programs events. Working knowledge of Word and Excel needed. Ability to work in a team environment where consultation, flexibility, creativity, and cooperation is essential, as is the ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks.
Nina Ashenafi Richardson, who was elected to the Leon County bench in Florida on November 4th, 2008 and received the oath of office from Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Peggy A. Quince on Friday, January 30, 2009, is the first Ethiopian-American judge. Born in Ethiopia, Nina came to the U.S. as a young girl and was raised by her late father Professor Ashenafi Kebede, the renowned Ethiopian composer and musicologist, who was the Founder and first Director of the National Saint Yared School of Music in Ethiopia. Judge Nina, a mother of two, was also the the first African-American woman to head the Tallahassee Bar Association and the first African-American to lead the Tallahassee Women Lawyers (TWL). Tadias congratulates Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson on her accomplishments!
Dr. Yared Tekabe’s groundbreaking work on non-invasive atherosclerosis detection and molecular imaging was published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, along with an editorial citing its clinical implications. Tekabe, who runs studies in cardiovascular disease detection and prevention at Columbia University, has helped his laboratory, headed by Dr Lynne Johnson, to receive another $1.6 million four-year grant from the National Institute of Health to continue his research. Tekabe hopes that in a few years time his work can similarly help heart disease prevention efforts and early detection of atherosclerosis in humans. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Tekabe for his his continued scientific efforts.
The 2009 World Food Prize, considered by many to be the Nobel Prize of agriculture, was awarded to Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, a Purdue University Professor, whose sorghum hybrids resistant to drought and the devastating Striga weed have dramatically increased the production and availability of one of the world’s five principal grains and enhanced the food supply of hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. We congratulate Dr. Ejeta on his accomplishments.
HG:The purpose of Teza is really like childhood morning dew. When I was growing up, I would sense the morning from the water caressing my legs while walking through the grass – the morning dew (English for Teza). This type of childhood experience is being lost, and so I am trying to preserve my childhood and I am trying to preserve my generation. And I am trying to remember the mistakes we made especially when we became brutal toward each other – shooting each other, killing each other. I don’t like killing, I never liked killing I don’t know how my generation made its cultural trademark to kill each other because of political differences. These are the reasons I try to work for myself first. People have to take it and see what it does for them, but for me, I am processing the whole confusion that I was part of.
On the other hand you can see a lot of Ethiopians are very successfully involved in the economic foundation of America — they have restaurants. We never thought about restaurants, we never thought about businesses. We all thought we were sent to bring medicine from abroad and cure our people. There was so much trachoma in my village. When you come from those circumstances you don’t have time for personal ambitions. Instead you start thinking “There must be something I could do before I die” or “what is the purpose of living?”
HG: Well, you know I think it is a very different generation. Completely different generation. And I don’t know the historical circumstances. I don’t know what would become of them. But it is a generation that is so disillusioned it has no internal strength. Most Ethiopians are not strong inside, that is why they need external jackets and hair-dos, lipsticks, earrings, cars and TV to say “I am somebody.”
The film was shot in Ethiopia and Germany but the story was based here in America. It was first written for America. I remember long ago weekend meetings (of Ethiopians) at the international student center near UCLA or at UCLA. We left all the priorities of our personal life to meet on the issue of country. That is the most amazing experience, but at the same time, we were also feeding a very dangerous dogma to each other. A dogma that swallowed the very generation in its prime age. I was in these meetings. Of course, I got out at a certain point because I couldn’t digest my own tendencies of disappearing in this generational political culture. When we shot the film in Germany we shot in the actual place where Ethiopian students were meeting. It doesn’t matter where we were, Ethiopian men and women of my generation in Paris, in Rome, in Cologne or Frankfurt or Seattle, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. They were doing the same activity and basically reading almost the same books, and these books were taken as Biblical prophecies to transform Ethiopia. And, in the end, we lost so many powerful Ethiopian young men. Brilliant young men and women were lost in this confusion, in this chaotic period. So I know vividly these people that I dedicate the film to. I remember their eyes and how genuine they were. These are not bad people. They were not selfish. They just disappeared in the chaos.
HG: Well I would say, how genuine young Ethiopian men and women were about changing Ethiopia. How much they cared, how much they loved their country was unquestionable, but at the same time you know you can destroy the object of love if it is possessively displaced. In other words, the dogmatic nature of that generation was such that they arrogantly thought they had the formula for transforming Ethiopia. It left them a confused generation.
HG: Oh, Certainly. In fact, a lot of people would ask me, “Is it biographical?” I say, no it is a collective experience. It’s a stolen story of a whole lot of people. So the generation that this film speaks to is an idealistic generation, who were sent abroad by governments or by personal ambition, to bring the tonic that would transform their society. Therefore, you have a generation that was leaving the country as if they were sent to go and bring the medicine and cross the river and comeback. Yet, the journey is more complex. When you cross the Atlantic and the threshold of the so-called modern society, you enter in to a new orbit and your journey becomes more complicated. For me, and especially my generation of Ethiopians of the 1970’s and late 60’s, this is the dilemma that dramatized even their well-intended political dream into a nightmare. So it is a generational, I would say, biography.
Teza’s main character, Anberber, experiences nightmares reflecting back to the chaotic years in Ethiopia following the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie. Do you think this painful memory is also collectively shared by Anberber’s generation in the Diaspora?