Professor Leslie Gottesman’s Research On The Role Of Literacy In The
Eritrean National Liberation Movement Finds A Home At The Hoover
Monday, August 31, 2015
It feels strange to see your name on a cassette tape recorded in 1992 in
San Jose, California, and have it show up among donated research
materials in 2015 in Palo Alto, California. Samsara of the archival world!
I met Professor Gottesman in 1992 when he came to San Jose to interview
me for his research on the role of literacy in the Eritrean national
liberation movement. The result has been published as/To Fight and
Learn:The Praxis and Promise of Literacy in Eritrea's War of
Independence/(Lawrenceville, NJ, 1998). I don’t remember what I said
then (now I know thanks to the donation) but all has been preserved for
posterity along with others in the Professor Leslie Gottesman Papers at
the Hoover Institution Archives.
Professor Gottesman, a US educator and writer, was born in Portland,
Oregon, in 1941; attended Columbia University where he received his BA
and his MA in 1968 and1969, respectively, and his EdM from the
University of San Francisco in 1994, along with an MFA from the
California College of the Arts in 2011. He is a professor emeritus of
English at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, where he taught for
twenty-eight years, as well as serving as the dean of the School of Arts
and Sciences from 1994 to 1996 and director of general education from
2001 to 2007.
Professor Gottesman’s collection, which was donated at the beginning of
the year, contains thirteen manuscript boxes, two oversize boxes, and
one card file box (6.6 linear feet); the collections includes
correspondence, writings, pamphlets, bulletins, serial issues, other
printed matter, audio and video recordings, transcripts of interviews,
and slides, all relating to the history of Eritrea, political and social
conditions there, and education in that country.
The donation has two unique aspects for future researchers:
One, the research is the first systemic study on the role of literacy by
the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), with a focus on the
EPLF’s National Literacy Campaign 1983–87 (pre-independence) and efforts
to understand the postindependence Eritrean educational policy. The
research includes audio recordings with those directly involved in the
campaign as well as other researchers.
Two, the role of support committees of various national liberation
movements such as the EPLF, the African National Congress (ANC), the
South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), and others in the
United States has never been thoroughly studied. As semiautonomous
entities, these committees developed unique literature, targeting their
respective localities, that includes brochures, pamphlets, posters,
flyers, and postcards. Those groups also organized film screenings,
speakers, fund-raising, community outreach, and so forth. One of the
local EPLF support committees of the San Francisco branch was the
Eritrea Material Aid Campaign (EMAC/1980–85). As a member, Professor
Gottesman collected various rare publications of EMAC that are included
in his collection.
Professor. Gottesman’s papers are now available to the public at the
Below are some samples.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The Role of Literacy in a National Liberation Movement
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 23:28:40 +0000 (UTC)
From: issayas mariam <issayasm dot yahoo dot com>
Reply-To: issayas mariam <issayasm at yahoo dot com>
To: Dehai Dehai <dehai_at_dehai.org>, "dehainews dehai.org"
Hoover Institution Archives has acquired the papers of Professor Leslie
For further information check:
Professor Leslie Gottesman’s Research on the Role of Literacy in the
Eritrean National Liberation Movement Finds a Home at the Hoover
Professor Leslie Gottesman’s Research on the Role of Lit...
Archivist Issayas Tesfamariam describes his long relationship with
Professor Leslie Gottesman, whose archive of Eritrea-related materials
was recently do...
View on www.hoover.org
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Received on Tue Sep 01 2015 - 20:30:36 EDT