Bayleyegn Tasew Asnake

Employed in the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures (AELC) at Addis Ababa University, Currently, I am doing research projects such as on: “Ethnographic and Linguistic Atlas for Ethiopia,” “Protecting the Vital Core Values of ‘Caste’-Affected Communities in Ethiopia: From Human Security Approaches,” “Culture and Development in Today’s Ethiopia,” all participated by UN and Government organizations. I am also serving as head of Cultural and Social Research Centre under AELC.

Born in 1960 and grew up in Tsion Mariam in the province of Gondar of North-West Ethiopia, I attended primary education at Maksegnit town. Then, I went to the Emperor Haile-Sellasie I Junior and Comprehensive High-School in Gondar city. After quitting for 5 years due to political reason, I joined Addis Ababa University to pursue undergraduate education (BA) from 1983 to 1985 in the Department of Ethiopian Languages and Literature, Institute of Language Studies (ILS).

Upon graduation, I had been employed in the Academy of Ethiopian Languages under the then Ministry of Culture and Sports, which was transferred in 1997 to Addis Ababa University renamed as “Ethiopian Languages Research Centre.”

From 1997 to 1999, I joined the Institute of Language Studies (ILS) of the Addis Ababa University to pursue in (MA) Program in Literature with research emphasis on folklore of Ethiopian Nilotic Language speaking peoples, focused especially on: “Ethnic (Indigenous) Ways of Genre Classification of Oral Narratives among the Anyuaa (Anuak),” one of the larger ethnic groups people who live in Gambella Region of South- Western part of Ethiopia along the Ethio-Sudan borders.

In between July 2003 and December 2009, I received a PhD grant from WTRO (The Hague). Promoted by my first supervisor, Prof. Jon G. Abbink, I pursued my doctoral studies at VU University, Amsterdam, and at the same time at the African Studies Centre, Leiden. The focus of my research topic was: “Metaphors of Peace and Violence in the Folklore of South-Western Ethiopia: A Comparative Study.”

I served as a focal person to the African Union’s ACALAN (the Academy of African Languages) represented on Ethiopian side and acting director of Ethiopian Languages Research Centre for two years (January 2008- October 2010). I also contributed as resource person in devising and changing ethnically-based structural organization of the Ethiopian Languages Research Centre into academic structure named as Academy of Languages and Cultures (AELC) promoted to high status and mandated to function on national level. I am member of the General Assembly of the AELC, also of its Executive Committee and Organization for Social Science Research in East Africa (OSSREA).

To this end, my research interests focus on related interdisciplinary areas including: culture, folklore, oral tradition, ethno-history, history indigenous knowledge, development and culture, conflict and peace-making ways, etc. in Ethiopian contexts.


Fellow member
Addis Ababa University
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