A Thematic Study of Selected Prose Fictional and Non-Fictional Writings of Ethiopian Diaspora in English

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Addis Ababa University


\\ riLt~n literature in I: thiopia ha a I )ng hi ·tor ,Rcligiou \\riting in the ancient lilllrgical language or the I)hiopian Orthodo,\ 'hri tian 'hurch, (je 'e::. c n!:>tituted the bulk or the literal,) production until the late 19th and carl) 20th centurie!:>, On the )lher hand. written ecular literature in other indigenou language (particularl In mhari ) ha~ al 0 been in the picture since the turn of the 20th century. 13) ontra t. a ording to . tlldi ondll ted in the area. Ethiopian literature in Engli h language came int e,i ten e in late-1950 and carl) -1960. ince then. a number of literal') \\ork ~ ol'\ariou qualitie. and genre hav been publi 'hed b) - thiopian both ",ithin and Oui. ide the c untr), (b) the dia pora). Ilo'We er. " hile re earch into - thiopian lileratur in the erna ular ha ' n er been lacking. re eareh on thiopian literature in Engli h langllag ha remained quile meagre. or nearl) non-exi tent in the ca e of literature I' th Ethi pian dia 'p ra. -I hi ha' led t kno'" ledge gap in the area. anon) mit) /ob curit) of Ethiopian literal") \\ork in [ngli h both locall) and xternall),. and failure to utilize these \\orks. Thu . cogniL.ant rthe~e problem. rhi. ·tud) !:>et ut to criticalh analyse 'ix repre ntati e lit rary \\riting of the thiopian dia~pora in I:.ngli!:>h. publi hed in the period bet\\een 2000 and 20 I O. b) u ing the Po!:>t-coloniallheor) a it thcoreti al framew rk . The thematic anal) i foil \\ed the de ' ripti e and comparati e anal) i ' method '. u ed both concurrentl) and equentiall). Hence. the elected text \\ere a . . ed and compared b th indi idually and in an intra and inter- group manner in order to identify their thematic preoccupation ' a \\ell a ' exi ting thematic di\ergenc . rgen e and rhe finding ' re al that there i a good deal of thematic con ergenee a \\ell a!:> a fe\\ di ergence among th narrative analy ed in thi tudy, In general. II e ubje t matter emerge as the mo t dominant theme that tra er e the Ethiopian dia pori writing el cted in thi tud). Vie\\ed from the perspe ti e of the Post- lonial literar) th 1') in general. the pre alence of the ubjcct matt rs (in pitc or the author' certain peculiaritie ' in t 1'111 or socio-hi torical and cultural background. including non- olonisation contcxts. I'is-ci-I'is dia 'poras from other fri an countrie ). and a number or pecifi that are typical I' the Po tc I nial/Dia 'p ri literature paradigm in the selected narrative!:>. rightl) 'Ia 'ifie literatures I' the Ethiopian diaspora under the general domain Po teoloniallDia pori lit rature. The tud, al 0 rc eal that their literature. b) and large. i ' a literatur or ambivakn e rather than or c rtaint). a voice or pri i lege i -a-vi denial. and or a journey to .. redi scovcr) or the clr. Finall), the stud) recommend three trategics vi '-a- is the problem .. and the bjectiv s it ct out to achicve: i) incorporating them with the s) Ilabuse or African literature in English language, and using them in the tcaching/ learning or African literature courses in higher in tituti ons in Ethiopia: ii) dis -cminating or publici ing all nc\· Iy relea sed publication usi ng all mcdia both local I) and internati onall) in co llaboration with the writers/their agent '. and relevant mini trics and in titution in the country: and iii) the Ministry of -ducation I' the gcn ') 1'01' Relc ance and Quality or Hi gher Educati on shou ld take teps to make elccted \.\ orks or Ethiopian in Engli h (both at the diaspora and loca lly) and critical \\ ork a well a ailable and ca ily aeces ·ible. Thi will help alleviate the current problem of paucity in Ethiopian literary works in Engli hand erve as good re ource pertaining to Ethiopian literal' works in Engli sh language needed b) re earchers. a ademician. ludent. and institutions both within and utsid Eth iopia. , i m i larl). both student and in tructor hould be encouraged to read and to encourage others to read Ethiopian dia porie literary work in ngli 'h as the are doing work of other African dia porie writer. In the end, the e action, in addition to integrating \·vork of the Ethiopian diaspora with main tream Ethiopian written literature, will contribute greatly to the overall development of literature in Ethiopia that is on par with that of other African countrie . The pre nt th i i structured into five major chapter, with each con i ling of 'eparate eclion and ub- ections. Accordingly. Chapter One pre ent th background. problem. objecti es. cope. significance. a well as methods and procedure of the stud) . Chapt I' Two make a re ie\·\· of r Ie ant literature in the area. hapter Three introduces the theoretical frameV\orh. of the tud). and di cu se. V\ hy it v a chosen. Chapter Four present synop es of' the plot. follow d by th thematic and c Illparative analy es of the elected text individually a well a comparativel). The thesi. conclude by presenting Chapter Fi e. which consi t of the conclu 'ion ( 'Ulllmar) of main linding ') and recOlllmendations or the rudy .



Diaspora in English