The History Department, in collaboration with the Nicolais School of Business, English Department, and Anthropology Department, hosted guest speaker Christina Tekie on November 12, 2018. Christina is currently completing her PhD dissertation in cultural anthropology at Duke University and recently returned to the United States from a Fulbright scholarship in Ethiopia where she spent a little over a year conducting field work on the beer industry there and where she met Wagner English professor Steven Thomas.
Her presentation "Markets and Meanings: Creative Destruction, Gift Exchange, and Aspirations for Modernity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia" examined the marketplace tensions between multinational beer companies such as Heineken, Castel, and Diageo and local alcohol retailers such as bars, restaurants, groceries, and hotels in Addis Ababa over the distribution of promotional products (e.g., tables, chairs, glasses, aprons, posters, sign boards, fridges, and draft machines, etc.). Local retailers demand promotional products in return for reliable business and market access. Global corporations find themselves not only competing to sell beer, but embroiled in a promotional giveaway war, attempting to gain the favor of local merchants, who in turn play companies off each other in order get more stuff.
Among those attending her lecture were Dr. Brett Palfreyman's class on the history of beer production and consumption, Dr. Richard LaRocca's class on international business, and Dr. Mary LoRe’s first-year learning community class on business and society.