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About this event

Join us for our third and final event, supported by the ICS-School of Advanced Study Fellowship, in a series of discussion workshops exploring migration and Blackness in Northeast African diaspora communities through ancient Greek storytelling.

In this hybrid event we will be speaking to Eyob Derillo, an Ethiopian specialist and author of histories of magic on the interconnectivity between the ancient Greco-Roman world and medieval/early modern Ethiopic manuscripts and art. This will be an online talk and interested participants can book separately for this talk.

For our in-person workshop we will be joined by Dr Awet Araya and Dr Zoe Cormack for a special in-person workshop hosted at the British Museum. This event will be supported by Dr Mai Musie and Dr Yoseph Araya. Interested participants can book separately for this workshop. Please note there will be a maximum limit of 25 people attending the workshop. 


Dr Awet Araya is an Eritrean archaeologist and museum curator. He worked at the British Museum as Africa Project Curator and is currently a visiting scholar there. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter (UK), where his research delved into archaeological evidence of the African presence in Bahrain spanning from the 7th to the 20th century AD. His research areas and interests encompass the historical archaeology and heritage of the medieval and post-medieval Horn of Africa, with a focus on its interconnections with the Indian Ocean world, the Gulf and beyond.

Dr Yoseph Araya is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology & Environmental Sciences at the Open University. Yoseph is an academic consultant and has contributes to an OU-BBC productions on natural history and related documentaries. Yoseph also participates in mentoring programmes for underrepresented groups with British Ecological Society, Institute for Environmental Science and more recently with the Equator Mentoring Network. He is keen to communicate and encourage outdoor engagement for all as well as underrepresented groups. 

Dr Zoe Cormack is a historian, anthropologist, and project curator based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. Her work focusses on post-conflict cultural heritage, material and visual culture and the history of collecting and museums in Eastern Africa. Zoe has edited a book on the history of collecting and the meaning of museum objects in Sudan and South Sudan, Pieces of a Nation: South Sudanese Heritage and Museum Collections, which is available to read Open Access. Last year, she led a refresh of Gallery 66 ‘Ethiopia and Coptic Egypt’ at the British Museum and has been involved in wider research on the history of the Ethiopia collection, collaborative research and conservation.
Zoe has previously held research fellowships at Oxford University, the British School at Rome, the British Institute in East Africa, and the Open University. 

Eyob Derillo holds a Bachelor’s degree in History of Art and Archaeology from the SOAS University of London, a Masters of Arts in Film Studies from Birkbeck, University of London, and is currently completing his doctorate at SOAS in the department of Religions and Philosophies. His doctoral research focuses on the nature and historical development of the concept of Ethiopian ‘magic’ and its use within a specifically Christian context.
Eyob is a project adviser at the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum in Lancaster, and the Curator for the Ethiopic and Ethiopian Collections at the British Library, where he is responsible for the library’s collections of printed Ethiopian books and Ethiopian manuscripts produced from 13th to early 20th century. He curated the British Library’s exhibition “African Scribes: Manuscript Culture of Ethiopia” (2018), the first exhibition to be held at the Library devoted entirely to Ethiopian manuscripts. Derillo’s specialisations include: Ethiopian Manuscripts, Modern and Contemporary Ethiopian Literature; Ethiopian Codicology, medical and magical; Ethiopian history from the 15th-19th century; Ethiopian manuscript illumination and Geez literature; and liturgical and hagiographical texts of the Medieval period. 

Chair: Dr Mai Musié

Mai is an ancient historian and a public engagement professional. She is currently an Inclusion, Participation and Engagement Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, and works with Swansea University and University of Oxford on impact and engagement activities and projects.
Mai’s research explores race and ethnicity in the ancient world, investigating how the ‘other’ is represented in ancient Greek and Roman literary sources. She is passionate about exploring the interconnectivity between the ancient Mediterranean world and northeast Africa. She has organised and consulted on history and heritage projects that foster co-curation, co-production, and building equitable relationships between communities and researchers. 
Mai is well known for her public engagement and outreach work and was awarded the 2019 Classical Association Prize, given each year to the individual who has done the most to raise the profile of Classics in the public eye. She enjoys communicating the stories of the ancient world for modern audiences through tv, radio, podcasts, and interviewing writers and actors. 

Mai is a trustee of: Classics for All, the Roman Society and Actors of Dionysus..

This event is hybrid. Registration for in-person or online attendance available.

Unless stated otherwise, all our events are free of charge and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend. Please register via the booking form above.