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The Graduate School of
Asian and African
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Kyoto Univ.
Kyoto University
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15th Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture


“Ecological Anthropology of the Foundation of the Ethiopian Highlands Civilization”

All dynasties that have prospered in Ethiopia have arisen in the highlands, around 2,500 meters above sea level, from the D’mt kingdom that arose around 3,000 years ago to the last emperor, Haile Selassie I (1892–1975), who died in Addis Ababa. As many have noted, the highlands may have been the site of the center of power in Ethiopia because they were easy to defend against external aggressors, such as lowland groups; their cool or even cold climate was comfortable and hosted fewer pests to humans and livestock; they possessed rich forests whose resources were used for construction and fuel; they could host cultivated plants that were adapted to highland climates (such as barley, oats, fava beans, peas, flaxes, and Abyssinian mustard); and they had plentiful water, relative to the lowlands. However, it is interesting to note that, among the above factors, major food plants of Ethiopian origin, such as tef, enset, and coffee, which supported city livelihoods, were produced at relatively low altitudes and transported to the highlands. In this talk, I contend that for the importance of the lowlands that surround high-altitude civilization, using ecological–anthropological observations. Discussion of Ethiopian highland civilization must include ecology, livelihoods and production, governing power and land systems, and trade and means of transportation.

Speaker: Prof. Masayoshi SHIGETA
(Professor, Director of Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University)

Commentator: Dr. Christoph Bergmann
(Lecturer, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)


Date: 18:15-20:00, Wednesday 26th June, 2019 (Reception 18.00-)

Venue: Hörsaal 06, Neue Universität, Universitätsplatz 1, Heidelberg

Language: English


Program:

18:15

Welcoming Address

18:20

Lecture
“Ecological Anthropology of the Foundation of the Ethiopian Highlands Civilization”

Prof. Masayoshi SHIGETA (Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University)

19:10

Commentary
Dr. Christoph Bergmann (South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)

19:30

Discussion

20:00

Closing


Registration:
Not necessary, but recommended
(Please email below with your name and affiliated organization)

Inquiries:
Kyoto University European Center
Tel: +49-(0)6221-54-30034
E-mail: info_eu * oc.kyoto-u.ac.jp (replace * with @)


Profiles:

Prof. Masayoshi SHIGETA
(Professor, Director of Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University)

Prof. Shigeta has been examining problems in African agriculture from the standpoint of human-plant relationships (agricultural science, anthropology, ecology, crop evolution, ethnobotany, and domestication studies). Mainly working in Ethiopia, he is also tackling problems of community development through analysis of useful plants cultivated by African people as their cultural resources and folk knowledge associated with it. Since 2016, he has served as Deputy Executive Vice-President for International Affairs, Director of Center for African Area Studies, and Chair of Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies.

Dr. Christoph Bergmann
(Lecturer, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)

Christoph Bergmann received his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology with a dissertation on trade relationships, ethnic identities and mobile livelihoods in the high mountain border triangle between India, China and Nepal. As a National Geographic Explorer, Christoph currently builds on his cross-regional expertise and scholarly engagement with processes of (de-)marginalization to investigate a little-noticed but dynamic form of contemporary migration, namely of young and aspiring Africans moving to South Asia for higher education.




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