Richard Pankhurst, In Memoriam (1927-2017)

Professor Richard Pankhurst, a pioneer in the study of Ethiopian economic and social history and an Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences has passed away on February 16, 2017.

A founding Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES), Richard Pankhurst laid the groundwork for the growth of the Institute as a prime research and heritage center. Prof. Pankhurst also co-founded the Society of Friends of the IES (SOFIES), which played a pivotal role in the acquisition of the rare books and artifacts that have made the IES Library the best collection of books on Ethiopia and the IES Museum a virtual national museum. In 1966, Prof. Pankhurst organized the Third International Conference of Ethiopian Studies held in Ethiopia for the first time and the first International Conference of Ethiopian Art.

Prof. Pankhurst has made an invaluable contribution to popularizing the study of Ethiopian history through his numerous publications. He also promoted discussions on Ethiopian history through his contribution and editorial works in Ethiopia Observer, Addis Tribune, Selamta, and Capital newspapers.

In recognition of his lasting legacy in Ethiopian studies, Prof. Pankhurst was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Addis Ababa University in 2004 and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005. Two journals of Ethiopian studies were dedicated special issues to celebrate Prof. Pankhurst’s achievements: Aethiopica (Hamburg, 2002) and Journal of Ethiopian Studies (2007).

The Ethiopian Academy of Sciences is deeply saddened by the news of Professor Pankhurst’s passing and would like to extend sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

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