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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology collaborates with universities in Palestine and Ethiopia

5 April 2013

The anthropology of travel, tourism and pilgrimage (ATTP) took centre stage at an event marking major collaborations between SOAS, University of London and universities in Ethiopia and Palestine.

The Palestinian ambassador, the Trade and Investment Minister-Counsellor at the UK Ethiopian embassy, and the President of the British Institute in East Africa (British Academy) were amongst distinguished guests hosted by the SOAS Director, Paul Webley on 21 March.

The envoys received a presentation, by staff, students, and course associates, of the work of SOAS Anthropology Department.

Event marks collaborations with Ethiopia and Palestine

The subjects covered included the anthropology of travel, tourism and pilgrimage (ATTP) and anthropological theory, the global tourism and pilgrimage industries, the role of the European Commission in Mediterranean cultural heritage, Sikh pilgrimage in the Himalayas, the role of tourism in contemporary Ethiopia, the importance of pilgrimage and tourism to the Palestinian economy, as well as an outline of the MA programme offered in the Anthropology Department in ATTP.   

The event marked two forthcoming significant collaborations between SOAS and universities in Ethiopia and Palestine. The first, an international conference on the next phase of tourism development in Ethiopia, will be held in Addis Ababa in April 2013. The conference marks the conclusion of a three-year project involving SOAS and Addis Ababa University, sponsored by the British Council and the Department for International Development, and looks forward to the next phase of the collaboration.  The second is the relaunch of the Masters Programme in Tourism, Pilgrimage, and the Cultural Industries – initiated by the European Commission’s TEMPUS Programme and now ratified by the Palestinian Authority – at Bethlehem University, Palestine. 

From left to right in the photo: Professor David Mosse, Head of Anthropology, SOAS;  Dr Julie Scott, London Metropolitan University and EC EUROMED;  Professor Andrew Goudi, Emeritus Professor Oxford University and President of the British Institute in East Africa (British Academy);  Professor Paul Webley, Director, SOAS;  Mrs Hirut Zemene, Minister-Counsellor for Trade and Investment, Embassay of Ethiopia in the UK;  Professor Manuel Hassassian, Ambassador of Palestine in the UK;  Mrs Hilary Callan, former Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute;  Mrs Christiane Nasser, EUROMED HERITAGE (European Commission), Brussels;  Mulugeta Assrate-Kassa, Embassy of Ethiopia in the UK;  Professor Tom Selwyn, Director of Studies, Anthropology of Travel, Tourism, and Pilgrimage, SOAS;  John Bell, Hills Balfour, Advisor, Government of Kenya. 

For further information, contact:

Professor Tom Selwyn ts14@soas.ac.uk