Ethiopian Research Council

Ethiopian Research Council


The Ethiopian Research Council (ERC) was founded in 1934 in Washington, D.C. by a group of Ethiopian and American professionals and scholars. The Council is the brainchild of Dr. Melaku Bayen, a surgeon, one of the twelve founding members & the guiding light of ERC strategies until his death; he was the first Ethiopian to graduate with an Medical Doctorate from an institution in the USA. The distinguished Professor William Leo Hansbury was elected as the first Director of the Ethiopian Research Council in 1934 while the suave William Steen handled the day to day affairs of the ERC as Executive Secretary demonstrating his unusually outstanding skills in administration and public relations as well as his love of Ethiopia and Ethiopian causes. Professor Hansbury's was a distinguished professor of history at Howard University, who received the coveted Haile Selassie I Prize in Literature (then the African equivalent to the European Noble Prize) in 1963. Before he died in 1965, he completed a manuscript on ancient Ethiopian history which was later published by Howard University Press in 1974 under the title Ethiopia: The Pillar of Civilization. Professor Hansbury was the founder of the African Studies Program at Howard, which later became the first Black Studies Department in the United States and the world.

Dr. Wossene Yifru assumed the leadership of the Ethiopian Research Council in 1989 and convened to Conferences in 1990 and 1991 which were well attended by Ethiopians and Ethiopianist scholars all over the world. Dr. Wossene's contributions to ERC include his publication as Editor three informative & beautiful issues of Henok, Journal of ERC both in Amharic and English. During his tenure as Director, Dr. Wossene's was assisted by several outstanding Board Members and Advisors including Dr. Hailu Fullas, Professor Ford, and many others.

ERC: Current Officers & Board Members:

The current members of the Board of Directors include internationally known scholars, administrators and educators including Dr. Mulugeta Agonafer, Professor Molefi Asante, Mr. William B. Davis, Dr. Peter Garretson, , Professor Karenga, Distinguished Professor Harold G. Marcus, Ato Fasil Gebre Mariam, Ato Aberra Moltot, Ms. Imani Nyah, Professor Richard Pankhurst, Dr. Fikre Tolossa, and Dr. Wosene Yefru.

The Director/Coordinator of the Ethiopian Research Council is internationally known scholar/ethnomusicologist Professor Ashenafi Kebede, who also serves as Director of the Center for African American Culture and Professor of Ethnomusicology, African & Afro-American Studies, both at The Florida State University. Though renowned in Ethiopia as the Founder/Director of the National (Yared) School of Music, which has graduated practically all the living performing musical and music educators of Ethiopia, he is internationally known as an ethnomusicological scholar, the first person to receive the Ph.D. degree in his field from the famed Wesleyan University (1971, Middletown, Connecticut); the first African to conduct the famous Hungarian State Orchestra (1967). He has also served in several prestigious positions at the international level serving as the UNESCO Expert to The Government of Sudan where he founded the Sudanese Institute of Music, Dance and Drama, and Chairman of the Teheran International Conference on Music Education in the Countries of Africa & Asia organized by UNESCO. Summery of ERC Objectives and Purposes

The Ethiopian Research Council has the unique purpose of disseminating information on the history, culture, civilization, and diplomatic relations of Ethiopia in ancient and modern times. Ethiopia is the seat of one of the oldest living civilizations in the world. It possessed civil and social institutions of a high order of development long before Europe had emerged as a nation state, and in the heyday of the Classical Age it was universally regarded as one of the greatest and most powerful nations of the earth. Believing that the culture of this ancient and long-lived nation deserves a wider currency than contemporary thought and scholarship have accorded it, the Ethiopian Research Council (ERC) has set itself to the performance of the following important task:

(a) An annual convention.
(b) Publication of the journal Ethiopia's Morning Star.
(c) Etheiopian Research Council Awards & Honors.
(d) Working with educational institutions in Ethiopia and abroad, ERC encourages and assists talented Ethiopian youths to get access to higher education abroad.

For Additional information, write or contact :
Professor Ashenafi Kebede, Director,
Ethiopian Research Council

c/o Center for African American Culture,
The Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida 32306.

Telephone: 904-644-3252.
Fax: 904-644-6041.

From: Ashenafi Kebede
Subject: Ethiopian Research Council
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 15:46:37 -0500 (EST)

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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