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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52586
Doc. No:TL22540
Call number:‭3214765‬
Main Entry:Fouad Makki
Title & Author:Eritrea between empires: Nationalism and the anti-colonial imagination, 1890–1991Fouad Makki
College:State University of New York at Binghamton
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:439
Abstract:This study is designed to examine the transformations of collective identities in twentieth-century Eritrea in the context of the Italian, British, and Ethiopian empires. Avoiding partisan representations, which see nationalists in the vanguard of emancipatory politics, and imperial interests, which treat nationalism as an anomaly, the study suggests that the Eritrean nation was in actuality a plural construct. Precisely because the definition of what the nation was, and how it was to be imagined, was not fixed; competing nationalist movements rooted in particular cultural constructs and specific patterns of affiliation, sought to shape its substantive meaning. Nationalist political contestation was consequently as much a hegemonic struggle to define the meaning of the putative nation as it was a struggle for liberation from imperial domination. The origins of Eritrea as a distinct political entity date back to the late nineteenth century when almost the entire continent of Africa was partitioned between a few European powers. Its constituent communities had been integrated into a Red Sea world, connected by culture and commerce as much as by political affiliation. European overseas expansion gradually destroyed the wider matrix that had underlain those connections, changing the nature and locus of their interrelationship. All this entailed major transformations in social and cultural relations, and over the course of the colonial era politics became linked, in complex and conflictual ways, to territorial identity. By the time of independence almost a century later, the cultural and political relationships of the peoples that composed it had taken on new meaning. From a comparative perspective, the process of nation formation in Eritrea is particularly instructive. In the course of the twentieth century, Eritrea had come under the rule of three distinct empires, and the contrast between these empires (territorial versus overseas; European versus African; capitalist and "modern" versus "backward" and absolutist, etc.) profoundly shaped the social and political character of the nationalist movements. Eritrean society has also been characterized by a series of dualisms: geographical (highland/lowland), religious (Christian/Muslim); and social (sedentary peasants/agro-pastoralists) that was articulated in a complex dynamic of combined and uneven development. This complexity points to the need to study nations and empires in relation to each other and their constitutive parts, and within the same analytical field; and to recognize the spatial and temporal complexities involved in that enterprise.
Subject:Social sciences; Anticolonial; British Empire; Eritrea; Ethiopian Empire; Italian Empire; Nationalism; Social structure; African history; 0700:Social structure; 0331:African history
Added Entry:D. Tomich
Added Entry:State University of New York at Binghamton