Nationalism and the Literature of the Ethiopian Student Movement

Elleni Zeleke


In "Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World" Partha Chatterjee's examines the thematics and problematics of Third World nationalist thought as the common thrust and ensemble of issues that can best be described as an attempt to produce an alternative discourse to colonialism, but which inevitably takes on the representational structure of colonialism and resolves the problems of that representational structure by assuming colonialism as its own space of autonomy. In this paper I use Partha Chatterjee's description of Third World nationalist thought to rethink the literature produced by the Ethiopian student movement during the years 1965-1974. In particular I take "Challenge", which was the premier English language journal of the Ethiopian student movement as a case study that helps us explore the major ideas that influenced debate within the Ethiopian student movement. I also focus on how ideas were mobilized to meet political ends, and I ask what kind of relationship between ideas, the social sciences and policy were created through the efforts of the Ethiopian student movement. Lastly I ask how this latter relationship helped pave the way for the circulation of intellectual persons from the world of letters, to the world of governance as well as the world of military action and war-making.

Anti-colonial nationalism - Communism in the Global South  
This article is part of Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres (Wildcat series) - Book launch (A booklaunch on 'Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres (Wildcat series) - Book launch')