AMU, Germany’s Max Planck Institute collaboration on the cards

College of Social Science and Humanities’ Faculty of Social Anthropology has initiated a bilateral talk with Prof Gunther Schlee of Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany, to accord him teaching position in order to strengthen research and academic foundation of AMU’s Master and PhD students. It’s learnt that agreement in this regard is likely to be signed soon. Click here to see the pictures

Academic Affairs Vice President Dr Yechale Kebede, chairing informal discussion said, we are interested to explore the scope of signing an agreement with Max Planck Institute to strengthen the field of teaching-learning i.e. Master and PhD studies. And we, being keen to work together, are ready to comply with what all the needs to start this collaboration. Emphasizing further he said, more importantly, AMU is situated in South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region, which is the seat of huge diversities, offers great scope for anthropological study.

Visiting Prof Gunther Schlee, who had 40 years of research experience of which a decade spent in Africa, said, I am expecting a teaching position as a supervisor of incipient PhD program for part of the year from 2020, wherein I will direct junior researchers, supervise and advise Master and PhD students. 

Prof Schlee begun research in North-East Africa since 1974, where he studied Ethnic-Genetic processes and Clan History, local economy in Northern Kenya, extensively studied Eastern Sudan since 1996 and supervised many PhD projects in and around Ethiopia, he hopes to bring his comparative perspective.

Commenting on anthropological scenario, he said, I suppose, Northern Ethiopia is completely neglected by anthropologists because it used to be the domain of historians and archeologists, where the society and regions should have been studied; it has vast areas but it doesn’t have proper anthropological study.

Similarly, in North-East Africa, you have ethnic plurality with different base to be human being and form a society. Here people spend life in a company, social life is more intensive but apart from that you have huge diversity with non-communication between groups as they live without knowing each other. In that context, he underscored, Ethiopia has tremendous scope for anthropological study.

Giving his perspective on meeting, Dean of Faculty of Social Anthropology, Mr Kansite Gelebo, said, Prof Gunther Schlee is a well-known researcher and academician across Europe and Africa, therefore, we are expecting to collaborate with him so that our Master and PhD students get guidance and expert advice on thesis. He can contribute in organizing seminar, delivering speech in annual symposium, etc. And with his expertise, we can develop a joint project in Social Anthropology. He also informed that PhD curriculum in Social Anthropology is being developed, which might be launched in January 2020.

During discussion, Prof Schlee said, as far as affiliation with AMU and Max Planck is considered, he will continue to supervise PhD students. He asked for clarification on terms, expectations and details about salary, transport, tax, etc. and assured to give one regular course for master or PhD students’ two-hour per week basis for four months at stretch. 

AMU’s PhD Scholar Yohannes Yitbarek at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany, and Dr Mulugeta Debele were also in attendance.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)