Netsanet Gebremichael

Education CV

This dissertation accounts for and examines how mundane aspects of memory and remembering are put to use in the reconstruction of history by foregrounding empirical evidence derived from memories of 1950-1975 Asmara from present time Ethiopia. Oral recollections anchor themselves not only in extraordinary occasions- events in the past, but are also embedded with retrieving everyday conditions of life forms in the past. The contemporary site of remembrance mobilises personal histories, household objects, photographs intertwined with descriptions of social, political and architectural constitutions of Asmara in time perspective and as possibilities of offering historical commentary in the present.  Concurrently, oral recollection of urban past simultaneously uses the present moment of recollection to account for what is absent, in the present and acts as a moment of reconstruction of historical occurring in the past. Memory emerges as the notion that makes the opening of past and presents simultaneously in order to investigate the present from a historical perspective. Drawing on the common and retrospective aspect of retrieving personal histories, autobiographical accounts and official archives, the dissertation argues that paying attention to the mundane role of memory creates a space to interrogate historicize, criticize, and draw a historical insight towards contemporary history.

Thesis working title
Topographies of memories: Remembering Asmara through Personal Histories, Metaphors of Place and Time from Ethiopia (1952-1975)
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