Lecture by Dr. Awet Weldemichael (Queens University)
Postponed from 10 November 2021
The explosion of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia in the 21st century was so enigmatic to many that its origins had to be located in the deeper history of the region. The quest for such historical explanation to the contemporary problem was laced with pervading notions of enduring poverty across time and space along the Somali coast. This paper offers a critical re-reading of historical explanations that link presumed shipwrecking in the 19th century Somali shores to maritime predation in the 21st century Somalia. Without discounting the role of real poverty, it argues that the foreign creation and perpetuation of poverty amidst domestic plenty fuelled violence – and, to some degree, migration.
Dr. Awet Weldemichael is a Professor in the Department of History at Queens University. He holds a PhD in History and an MA in African Studies both from UCLA. His research focuses on the political economy of conflict in the Horn of Africa and its adjoining waters. He is the author of Piracy in Somalia: Violence and Development in the Horn of Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and Third World Colonialism and Strategies of Liberation: Eritrea and East Timor Compared (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
This event will be held online, please register in advance: https://tinyurl.com/5xswd368
This event is part of the lecture series:
Red Sea Lecture series
Poverty, Violence and Migration in the Red Sea Region