Current Institutional Affiliation
Tutor and PhD student, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere Univeristy
Eritrean National Identity Versus its Constituent Parts: Problematizing the Concepts of 'Beiher' and Village of Origin

This project focuses on identity politics. It engages the existent academic discourse on the concept of autochthony in Africa. The project is concerned with how and why the state and its subjects conceptualize identity differently. Taking the case of Eritrea, it investigates the genealogy of signifiers of identity adopted by the state and its subjects. The discourse on autochthony addresses autochthony either as an outcome of primordial links to soil or as related to capitalist market. This dichotomy neglects the role of other factors that contribute in creating the feeling of autochthony. The state in Eritrea locates people's identity on language and territory. The population on the other hand, values a network of multiple signifiers of identity, which render the state's approach ineffective. This project seeks to provide scholarly explanation for this incompatibility in conceptualization of identity. To do so I will conduct archival and ethnographic study in Eritrea.