Unmooring the Dhow: Navigating the Indian Ocean in East African Fiction

Presentfra-mauroed in partial fulfillment of my master’s degree in African Studies at Stanford University, this presentation is a literary analysis of a Somali short story centered around the question, “What does the Indian Ocean contribute as a literary cartography for exploring one’s place in the world and relationship to others?” Attention to the role of the Indian Ocean in East African texts challenges the inherited African literary tradition’s assumptions about space and representation, particularly as they relate to national allegory. The presence of the ocean in East African texts suggests possibilities of a less linear and more circular pedagogy and a fluid sense of identity and citizenship. It urges scholars to attend to histories and stories that unfold at and by the sea and take seriously the idea that the ocean is a speculative space for imagining the future.

Sweet Sacrament: Where Myth Meets Story in Ethiopian Christianity

P1080937Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars program at Seattle Pacific University and honored with the Wesley E. Lingren Award for 2015, this project aims to capture the synthesis of myth and personal story in the narratives of Ethiopian evangelical Christians. Gathered in Ethiopia in summer 2014, the narratives of torture, persecution, and conversion are each paired with an Ethiopian folktale and analyzed for their connections. The stories are preceded by an introductory literature review and followed by a discussion of the role of religious experience in the future of Ethiopian evangelical Christianity and Christianity at large. 


In June and July 2014, I travelled to South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia on behalf of Partners International, a nonprofit organization based in Spokane, WA, which partners with indigenous ministries and development efforts. I travelled alone, living with local families, and interviewing community leaders and stakeholders about their lives and the influence of the programs Partners supports. Upon my return, I wrote their stories to share with others.

As someone who loves to listen to and share the stories of others, I found it humbling to listen as people told me their stories, sometimes for the first time. At the end of every interview, I assured my subjects I would share their stories with a larger audience. This is part of that promise. I share them with you in the hope that they will shatter stereotypes, help put a face to a story, invigorate faith, and act as a call to action. They have done all these things for me.

South Sudan:
John Lam, AIC Juba South Sudan
Rosemary Orub, AIC Juba South Sudan
Esther Igenye Joseph, AIC Juba South Sudan
Rakele Jacob, AIC Juba South Sudan
Ponia Hakim, AIC Juba South Sudan


For Response Magazine:

Identity and Calling: Chapel Service and Forum Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage
Ambassadors for Peace: Students in Israel-Palestine Club Seek “Hope for the Holy Land”
“How Goes It With Your Soul?”: Seminary Students Lead Undergraduates in Wesleyan Small Groups
“King” of the Stage: Theatre Season Honors Retiring Professor
Music to Their Ears: Lecture Series Brings Students Real Talk About Music Careers
Body, Mind, and Soul: Holistic Health Care in the Rainier Valley
What’s Trending: Apparel Design and Merchandising Students Prepare for Fashion Careers
Contributing research: Scholar in Chains: For Love of His Country, Ethiopia, this Alumnus Paid the Ultimate Price

For etc magazine:

First Observe. From Ethiopia to Stanford
Once Upon a Talent Show
My World: Heather Bean
My World: David Ferguson
Now That’s Classroom Participation
My World: Jasmine Hairston
My World: Garrett Mullett

For The Falcon, Seattle Pacific University’s student newspaper:

Eli Zoolkoski: Water leads way for future in Africa
Jared Bradley: ‘You come to see Scripture as artistic’
Revisting Miracle Worker 50 Years Later

Food Reviews:
Oddfellows Cafe and Bar
Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine
Sweet Iron Waffles
Taste of India
Cederberg Tea House
Yellow Dot Cafe
Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Malay Satay Hut
KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn
Nielsen’s Pastries
Old School Custard
Fainting Goat Gelato
Cupcake Wars
Wine Tea Chocolate
Le Rêve
Mr. Gyro
The Crumpet Shop
Blue Moon Burgers

Theatre Reviews:
Lost in Yonkers
Twelfth Night
Tomato Plant Girl
Hedda Gabler
The Dining Room
The Miracle Worker
The Frog Prince
Letters to Sala
Almost, Maine
Bach at Leipzig


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