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Samuel Tsegai


Professional History

2012-2015, A High school history textbook writer for the Eritrean Ministry of Education and a teaching assistant in the History department at the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Eritrea

2014-2015, A part-time lecturer in the department of Theatrical Arts at the SMAP Institute of Training, Education and Research, Eritrea

2010-2012, A junior researcher and writer with the Research and Documentation Center of Eritrea (an equivalent of a national archive center)

Intellectual Interests and Projects

I am a sort of an intellectual wanderer and have many scholarly interests among which include the history of crime and punishment in pre-19th century Abyssinia, the history of moral sentiments in Abyssinia in the same period, the history of Eritrean and Ethiopian nationalism, the intellectual history of the discourse around modernity and nationalism in Eritrea in the period between 1940s and 1960s.  My current doctoral project is concerned with the question of how Ethiopia, as a recognizable geo-body, emerge in the crucible of its interactions with European and non-European forces between 16th and 19th century. Under the supervision of Professor Awet Weldemichael, I will examine the internal and external processes, narrative mechanisms, discursive strategies, mapping tools, and spatial conceptions that eventually produced fixed and bounded Ethiopia in this period. These questions open up two sites of historical inquiry that I will deal with. One, the internal Ethiopian discourse on place, space, and territoriality as articulated by the state and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church through cosmographic exegesis, official edicts concerning territorial claims, court chronicles detailing the domains of Ethiopian rule, land and tax records, appointments and titles of provincial officials, and treaties. Second, the external, namely, European and Ottoman, textual and cartographic mapping of Ethiopia.

Selected Publications

Presentation and Publication

  • Presented a paper titled “Reflecting on Modernity, Tradition, and Politics in Eritrea during British Military Administration, 1942-1952” at the 16th Annual McGill-Queen’s Graduate History Conference, March 2-3, 2019, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Presented a paper titled “The Development of the Essay in Tigrigna: A historical Overview” in a Conference on the History of Tigrigna Literature in Eritrea, October 20, 2013.
Awards and recognition

Civil Society Scholars Award 2019-2020, Queen’s Graduate Award, International Tuition Fee Award, Principal’s International Doctoral Award, James R. Carruthers Memorial Scholarship, Bursary for Visible Minority/Racialized Award

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.