CFS Grad, Native of Ethiopia Recruited by Penn After 12 Years as English Prof at Cornell

Image of Dagmawi Woubshet via Penn Today.

Dagmawi Woubshet, who emigrated from Ethiopia and graduated from Church Farm School, has been recruited by the University of Pennsylvania to be its Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, writes Louisa Shepard for Penn Today.

Woubshet, who came to the U.S. with his mother when he was 13, only knew a few words of English at the time. This created a formidable challenge for the then-teenager at the all-boys boarding school in Exton.

“I’m glad I landed there because it was a very diverse place, and there were many immigrants like myself, so I didn’t feel isolated,” said Woubshet. “During parents’ weekend, the parents from Africa would come clad in traditional African clothing, so my sense of being African didn’t seem as foreign.”

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Professor Woubshet taught “The 1980s: African-American Literature and Culture” and “Reading the Contemporary: Literature and Art in Africa and the African Diaspora” during his first semester.

The 1980s have always been the focal point of his research, which is also reflected in his first book, The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of AIDS.

Read more about Dagmawi Woubshet at Penn Today here.

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