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Ethiopia in Theory
Revolution and Knowledge Production, 1964-2016

A wide-ranging and compelling account of the interplay between social theory and social change in the Ethiopian student movement, and its enduring impact.

Between the years 1964 and 1974, Ethiopian post-secondary students studying at home, in Europe, and in North America produced a number of journals. In them, these students explored the relationship between social theory and social change within the project of building a socialist Ethiopia. Ethiopia in Theory examines the literature of this student movement, together with the movement’s afterlife in Ethiopian politics and society, in order to ask a vital question: what does it mean to write today about the appropriation and indigenisation of Marxist and mainstream social science ideas in an Ethiopian and African context? And, further, what does the archive of revolutionary thought in Africa teach us about the practice of critical theory more generally?

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Reviews
  • "This superb book will transform all discussions concerning the production of knowledge. Ranging through the archives, moving across philosophy and critical theory, and traversing social history, Ethiopia in Theory frames a stunningly original account of the Ethiopian student movement of the 1960s and ‘70s as a site for the production of radical social science. Rather than the mere reception of revolutionary theory in an African context, Zeleke shows us the dynamics of its generation. There is truly nothing in the literature that comes close to the depth of this multi-leveled, interdisciplinary study. Zeleke’s outstanding book deserves the widest possible readership in social history, African studies, post-colonial analysis, and Marxist and critical theory in general." –David McNally, Cullen Distinguished Professor of History, University of Houston, author of Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism