African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187


The predicaments of the“Grand narrative” of Ethiopian history:The challenges of post modernism

Dagmawie Tesfaye
  • Dagmawie Tesfaye
  • Department of History and Heritage Management, College of social Sciences, Arsi University, Bishoftu, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 January 2019
  •  Accepted: 08 February 2019
  •  Published: 28 February 2019


The shadow of skepticism that post –modernist casted on the Meta narrative is so encompassing that it led to conspicuous cynicism on the objectivity of history as a scientific discipline. This article raises this issue by discussing and analyzing the arguments of Samir Yusuf; a post-modernist critique of Bahiru Zewdie’s A history of modern Ethiopia.  The research, using such analytical tools as the” grand narrative”, has attempted to reveal the essence post -modernist arguments discursively.  It has also employed a comparative analysis and found out great resemblance with the critique of Ibadan school of History.  Based on its findings, it argues that the application of the postmodern critics to the “grand narrative” of Ethiopian history, as in Samr’s argument, is detrimental for it fails to take into account the peculiarities of Ethiopian history and historiography.


Key words:  Grand narrative, post modernism, Ethiopian history, historiography, Ibadan.