Challenging Dominant Historiographies: The Politics of Representation among the Wolaita of Southern Ethiopia: Justin Dunnavant


Noon, Thursday, February 16th 


Shiffman 219 


The Wolaita are a minority cultural group located in southern Ethiopia. While representations of the Wolaita, and the minority groups in Ethiopia, remains peripheral in national museum exhibitions, the development of local and privately-funded museums has created spaces for alternative forms of representation. This presentation compares representations of Wolaita cultural identity in national, local, and privately-funded museum exhibitions and demonstrates how rhetorical devices are employed across these heritage spaces to reify certain cultural narratives and challenge dominant historiographies.

Justin Dunnavant is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Florida studying archaeology. His dissertation research explores the intersection of archaeology, identity, and the politics of representation in southern Ethiopia. He is a former Fulbright recipient (Jamaica, 2009-2010), Ford Foundation Fellow, and McKnight Doctoral Fellow. In addition to his archaeological research, Justin is a founding member of the Society of Black Archaeologists and works as a graduate coordinator for the University of Florida’s African American Oral History Project.


African and Afro-American Studies Department, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences