Chuck Schaefer

Senior Research Professor

Arts and Sciences Building, Room 365


Professor Chuck Schaefer joined the Department of History in 1994 and served as Chair from 1997 through 2006.  Currently Professor Schaefer is the Chair of the International Service Program.

Prior to arriving at Valparaiso University, he taught at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia from 1992 through 1994 as a Fulbright Lecturer.

Professor Schaefer is interested in modern African and Middle Eastern history focusing specifically on political and social history.  The courses he teaches on a regular basis include a survey course on African History and Society and upper level classes in twentieth century African history; modern Middle Eastern history; and topics courses on the British Raj in India.  In addition, Professor Schaefer teaches twentieth century world history and a more ethnographic course on Global Perspectives.

The focus of Professor Schaefer’s research is Ethiopia.  Starting out as an economic historian, he analyzed Ethiopia’s integration into the world economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries looking strictly as economic indices such as trade, capital creation, money supply and credit and lending in order to partially answer the question: Why is Ethiopia poor?  The overarching question of his research shifted about ten years ago to: Why is there conflict in Ethiopia and what can be done about it?  This new research initiative has ushered Professor Schaefer into rereading the hagiographic literature and imperial chronicles to ascertain indigenous methods of peace, reconciliation and restorative justice in Ethiopia.

Some article titles include “Scriptures, qene and traditions of restorative justice in nineteenth century Ethiopia: Forgiveness with consequences”; “Reexamining the Ethiopian Historical Record on the Continuum between Vengeance and Forgiveness”; and “The Derg Trial versus Traditions of Restorative Justice in Ethiopia” published in The Ethiopian Red Terror Trials:  Transitional justice & human rights denied, which he co-edited.

Since January 2006 Professor Schaefer has accepted a volunteer position as Country Specialist for Ethiopia for Amnesty International-USA which consumes an inordinate amount of time.

In his spare time he enjoys almost any activity or sport that takes place out-of-doors.


B.A. – Pacific Lutheran University
M.A. and Ph.D. – University of Chicago

Research Interests

The indigenous methods of peace, reconciliation and restorative justice in Ethiopia.