Syracuse University’s Africa Initiative presents discussions on effect of U.S. policy on ‘terrorism’ in Algeria, Somalia
Syracuse University’s Africa Initiative presents discussions on effect of U.S. policy on ‘terrorism’ in Algeria, SomaliaFebruary 09, 2009Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s Africa Initiative will present “Focus on the Fabrication of Terrorism in Algeria and Somalia,” Thursday, Feb. 19, from 3-5:30 p.m. in Room 204 of Maxwell Hall. The event will feature two internationally renowned scholars: Abdi Samatar, professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota, and anthropologist Jeremy Keenan, author of a number of books about northern Africa. The event is free and open to the public; parking is in SU pay lots.
Samatar, originally from East Africa, will speak on “The War on Terror and the Terror of War,” focusing on the relationship between the U.S. “War on Terror” and the political instability and violence in Ethiopia and Somalia.
Keenan will present key arguments of his latest book, “Dark Sahara: America’s War on Terror in Africa” (Pluto Press, 2008). The book focuses on what the author describes as a secret U.S. agenda behind the War on Terror in Africa and methods used to perpetuate the myth that the region is a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. In his book, Keenan presents evidence suggesting that, from 2003, the Bush administration and the Algerian government were responsible for hostage takings and other violence blamed on Islamic militants.
In addition to his Thursday lecture, Samatar will do a second presentation on Friday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center, in the Regency B room, which will focus on the prospects for change and peace in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Samatar’s research focuses on the relationship between democracy and development in the Third World in general and Africa in particular. He is currently examining the link between democratic leadership, public institutions and development in East and South Africa. Other areas of research include Islam, social capital and ethnicity in the Horn of Africa, and environment and development.
Samatar has been a Fulbright scholar in Ethiopia, has done fieldwork on governments and institutions in Botswana, and spent two years in South Africa in the immediate aftermath of apartheid. He is the author or co-editor of several books and numerous scholarly articles. His books include “The African State: Reconsiderations” (Heinemann, 2002), which was a finalist for the Herskovits Award for scholarship, and “An African Miracle: State, Class Leadership and Colonial Legacy in Botswana” (Heinemann, 1999).
Along with “Dark Sahara,” Keenan has written several books, including “The Sahara: Past, Present, and Future” (Routledge, 2007) and “The Lesser Gods of the Sahara: Social Change and Indigenous Rights” (Routledge, 2004).
The Africa Initiative is a program of the Department of African American Studies in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences that focuses on Africa as an important site of knowledge by highlighting teaching, research and publications by SU scholars representing a variety of disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.