African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships

Through fellowship competitions, regional workshops, and peer networking, the African Humanities Program provides support to the humanities in five African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The centerpiece of the program is the distribution of fellowships to African scholars in these countries for work on dissertations, research projects, and scholarly manuscripts. Postdoctoral awards are listed below; also see dissertation completion awards.The program is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

 

HASIYATU ABUBAKARI
HASIYATU ABUBAKARI  |  Abstract
This project gives a description and a formal linguistics analysis of the grammar of Kusaal, spoken in Ghana. The questions the project seeks to answer include: (i) what are the grammatical structures of Kusaal? and (ii) how can focus constructions be analyzed using the Lexical-Functional Grammar Framework? The project aims to correct aspects of my dissertation titled: "Aspects of Kusaal Grammar: The Syntax-Information Structure Interface" by using comments received from reviewers after the submission of the work. It seeks to include a chapter on the morphology of Kusaal. The aim of this project is to come out with a book manuscript on the grammar of Kusaal. Little is known in the literature of a comprehensive grammar of a Northern Ghanaian language that employs the Lexical-Functional Grammar Approach in analyzing its data. This project will be carried out using primary data gathered from native speakers. The research method is qualitative.

Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, University of Professional Studies, Accra  -  A Grammar of the Kusaal Language of Ghana

Deo Kawalya
Deo Kawalya  |  Abstract
This study examines the expression of evidentiality in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in Central Uganda. Speakers use evidentials to indicate the source or evidence for their statements. In languages with evidentiality systems, expressions like ‘We hear that’ would carry a mark indicating that the speaker does not have first hand information. Evidentials are important in communication because they show the way people organize their thoughts through the language they speak. The grammatical sub-category of evidentiality has been ignored in grammatical descriptions of Luganda. Even the recent studies on modality only cover the closely related sub-category of epistemic modality—the expression of the speaker’s opinion or attitude towards the proposition expressed by the sentence. The aim of this study is to provide a detailed description of evidentiality marking through the analysis of data from a 6 million-word Luganda electronic text corpus, as well as interviews with selected native speakers.

Lecturer, Linguistics, English Language Studies and Communication Skills, Makerere University  -  The expression evidentiality in Luganda

Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo
Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo  |  Abstract
How does the deportation practice of China contribute to precarity and disruptive changes in families and gendered social relations in the society of return? Despite the increasing attention on Africans in China, the simultaneous reverse flows engendered through deportation, and the post-deportation lives of African deportees are under-researched. This study explores the post-deportation lives of Nigerian deportees from China and how deportation experiences shape their family dynamics and masculinities in Nigeria. A qualitative ethnographic design will be adopted, with life histories as the data collection approach in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Onitsha. Data will be collected from deportees (20) and their family members (20). Nigerian community leaders in Guangzhou will be interviewed using Skype and other audio/visual means. The study will call attention to a chronically under-engaged aspect of African-China exchanges and unveil hidden processes in the diasporisation and unmaking of the African diaspora in East Asia.

Research Fellow, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan  -  Transnational Livelihood, Masculinity and Family Dynamics of Nigerian Deportees from China

Christi Louise Kruger
Christi Louise Kruger  |  Abstract
This project aims to critically understand post-apartheid citizenship through the concept of “poor whiteism”. Building on, and drawing from my doctoral thesis, I will complete a monograph manuscript that focusses on a group of poorer white South Africans who have settled, informally and illegally, in a former caravan park on the West Rand of Johannesburg. The book will explore the socio-economic genealogies of the poorer white residents of the park, the everyday practices of making livelihoods, and attempt to reproduce ideologies of South African whiteness in a spatiality — the “squatter camp” — that has historically been associated with blackness. The project aims to understand how these particular ideologies have influenced both understandings of contemporary whiteness and it shapes the conservative white political imaginary.

Researcher, Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender, University of Pretoria  -  Whiteness on the Margins: the Politics of White Poverty and Post-Apartheid Citizenship

Olubunmi Funmi Adegbola
Olubunmi Funmi Adegbola  |  Abstract
This study advances a comparative reading of the linguistic and ideological representations of views on homosexuality in both Nigerian and South African contexts, with focus on selected newspapers. These two Sub-Saharan African nations have different legislations as regards homosexuality. The global debate on homosexuality has been dominated by arguments about social justice and human rights. Scholarly attention on the phenomenon in both contexts has dwelled on these legalistic, sociological, philosophical and linguistic perspectives, with little attention paid to peculiar linguistic and ideological values surrounding the arguments, especially comparatively. Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis, Halliday's Systemic Functional Grammar and Martin and White’s Appraisal Theory are adopted as framework, for their ideological and contextual approaches to language. Opinion articles and news reports on homosexuality from two purposively selected Nigerian newspapers (Vanguard, The Punch) and South African newspapers (Mail & Guardian and The Times) between 2014 and 2015 will be subjected to critical discourse analysis. The newspapers are selected for their considerate coverage of the discourse. The study seeks to unearth similar and divergent ideological presuppositions underlying views on homosexuality in the two Sub-Saharan African contexts. This mode of investigation would enhance good understanding and proper evaluation of linguistic and ideological representations of homosexuality in Africa.

Lecturer, General Studies Department, Crown Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti  -  Socio-linguistic Representations of Points of view on Homosexuality in Selected Nigerian and South African Newspapers

Joyline Kufandirori
Joyline Kufandirori  |  Abstract
The study examines the particular role that all women connected to the new farming terrain have been playing in the new agricultural sphere in Zimbabwe. This is in light of the land acquisition modes, the crops that are grown and the different entrepreneurial activities they have been undertaken. It also aims to analyse how women in Zimbabwe’s new agriculture landscape created by the FTLRP have negotiated a space for themselves ?especially in a patriarchal setting that dictates agriculture in general and the FTLRP in particular. It intends to assess how women interact with the gendered environment in which they are seen as an inferior form. It seeks to evaluate issues of use and access in a landscape where men usually dominate or have a monopoly over technological inputs of various sorts and where men customarily control cooperative/collective governing committees set up by the land reform process.

Research Fellow, International Studies Group, University of the Free State  -  “We women have to man up if we are to survive in the new farms”: Women and the Negotiation for space and access in Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme

Adedamola Seun Adetiba
Adedamola Seun Adetiba  |  Abstract
This research explores the roles of the Nigerian native authorities, in the administration of medicine in rural communities of South-western Nigeria. These authorities mediated the relationship between medical missionaries, colonial medical officers and the rural African populace. The successes or failures of colonial medicine in parts of the country depended on the native authorities’ attitudes towards colonial medicine as well as towards African medical knowledge systems. In many instances, native authorities collaborated with the colonial government and medical missionaries in implementing health policies while at the same time supporting African traditional healers who adhered to the political patronage and relational networks of the chiefs themselves. This project, using archival sources reposed in conventional and digital archives, reinforces the argument that native authorities did not function within the colonial bureaucracy merely as colonial appendages, but that they used the loopholes in the colonial state towards specific local interests.

Postdoctoral Fellow, History, Rhodes University  -  It examines the roles of native authorities in rural health services in colonial South-western Nigeria

Gavaza M Maluleke
Gavaza M Maluleke  |  Abstract
This project seeks to analyze the understudied topic of women’s digital activism against gendered violence and the policing of women’s bodies. In South Africa, women are increasingly using digital platforms to galvanize debates on rape and femicide and to challenge dominant discourses about women. Employing a digital ethnographic approach, this project will focus on women’s online activism in response to three forms of violence: rape at university, violent attacks (rape and murder) on lesbians, and xenophobic violence against South African women married to/ partnered with men from other African countries. By following online articulations about these forms of violence on social media and websites, this project will map out what is being said, when it is being said, and whose voices are dominant and visible posing the question: how does women’s activism re-center their inclusion in the body of the nation?

Lecturer, Political Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa  -  Digital Activism against Gendered Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa

David Tei-Mensah Adjartey
David Tei-Mensah Adjartey  |  Abstract
Beginning from the mid-twentieth century, development projects that cause displacement and forced resettlement have disrupted lives and the social world of displaced persons. In Ghana, the planning and development of the Bui Dam project by the Ghanaian Government required resettlement of three communities that had lived in the flood basin. This proposed project (From PhD Thesis to Book) aims at investigating how resettlement process has influenced socio-cultural change in the resettlement township. It argues that the ideas of Global Connections (Stahl, 2016, Stahl, 2015, Stahl and Lagan 2014, Stahl, 2001, Stahl, 1999) more adequately explains the complex historical and contemporary conditions that have reshaped daily life of resettlers than Routine and Dissonant Cultural theory (Downing and Garcia-Downing, 2009), which accounts for how resettlement disturbs everyday cultural practices. The project deploys a participatory ethnographic filmmaking approach in recording lived experience of Bui Dam resettlers. The outcomes of this book project including an ethnographic documentary film, From Basin to Upland (Adjartey 2019b), are expected to contribute knowledge to the anthropology of forced resettlement in Ghana and beyond.

Researcher, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana  -  From Basin to Upland: Exploring Socio-cultural Change in West African Village life in Bui Dam Resettlement Township

Derilene Marco
Derilene Marco  |  Abstract
The proposed project, a manuscript, investigates two different but related elements of South African sensibilities in a post-apartheid season: memory and identities of belonging. In the first section of the manuscript, I explore how South African cinema, after 1994, has played a role in portraying certain notions of memory and belonging through the language of 'Rainbow Nation'. In this section I problematise memory practices and discourses of and around the TRC in cultural representations, particularly in popular forms. The second part of the manuscript takes a more nuanced approach to women as mothers and producers of 'new' South African identities. I am particularly interested in Black motherhood represented as pillars of strength, often pitted against white motherhood, domestic bastions of another kind and protectors of nation. I place these two elements: memory and womanhood in the same conversation through visual representative practices and experiences in SA films and television.

Lecturer, Media Studies, University of Witwatersrand  -  Remembering and Remapping: South African cinema, a postfeminist memory reel

Dorothy Pokua Agyepong
Dorothy Pokua Agyepong  |  Abstract
This cross-sectional study investigates the development of speech and gesture in L1 speakers of Asante-Twi (Akan-Kwa, Niger Congo). Using oral narratives produced by children aged 6 to 8 years, 9-12 years and adults (18 years and above), the study examines how language use is shaped by age and socio-cultural norms. It explores ways in which cultural expectations relative to oral narratives impact on the production and development of these two modes of communication. While Akan scholarship has investigated various aspects of language acquisition, development, and use, the focus has mainly been on the spoken forms. The ways in which speech is coordinated with gesture, has not received much attention. This study therefore seeks to provide new knowledge and fresh data on the development of narrative and narrative structures in Asante-Twi.

Lecturer, Linguistics, University of Ghana  -  Investigating the effect of age and culture on co-speech gestures in Asante-Twi oral narratives.

Hyden Munene
Hyden Munene  |  Abstract
The proposed book is a detailed account of the corporate history of the Rhokana/Rokana Corporation and its Nkana mine between 1928 and 1991. It analyses three themes: corporate organisation, labour relations, and profitability in Rhokana/Rokana's history, which have previously been considered separately. Both an investment firm on the Copperbelt and a mining company through Nkana mine, the Corporation was central to the development and profitability of the copper industry in Zambia. Its corporate and labour policies influenced the Copperbelt as a whole. Employing the largest labour force in the mining sector, its Nkana mine spearheaded the labour movement on the Copperbelt. Nkana was also the largest producer of copper in Zambia between 1940 and 1953, and contributed significantly to the war economies of Britain and the United States of America. The proposed monograph stresses the contribution of Rhokana/Nkana to the local, regional, and global political economy.

Postdoctoral Fellow, International Studies Group (ISG), University of the Free State  -  Copper King in Central Africa: Rhokana/Rokana Corporation, 1928-1991

Henry Obi Ajumeze
Henry Obi Ajumeze  |  Abstract
The representation of the Niger Delta insurgency in cultural texts is often registered from the viewpoint of human history, an approach that foregrounds the politics of resistance against the multinational oil corporations in ways that ignore the contribution of the non-human elements in the historical struggles in the region. In this study, I seek to understand the ways that the Niger Delta seascapes and environment are imagined in the works that I describe as the Niger Delta drama. Drawing on a number of plays to reflect on the different historicisations of spaces in the region, I examine and analyse the ways in which these water bodies exercise social and political agencies in the unfolding events in the region.

Lecturer I, College of Liberal Studies, Bowen University  -  Performing Insurgent Ecologies: Water and resistance in Nigeria’s Niger Delta

Sibanengi Ncube
Sibanengi Ncube  |  Abstract
Drawing on the extensive coverage of archives in Zimbabwe, Britain and South Africa, the proposed monograph examines pre-independence Zimbabwe’s tobacco industry from soon after the Second World War to the collapse of white minority rule in 1979. It focuses on the interplay of global, regional and local factors in shaping the local tobacco industry, thereby shedding light on the extent to which post-war Anglo-American foreign economic policies impacted local economic processes. This is in contrast to the parochial emphasis on internal dynamics prevalent in the literature. The book also analyses the impact on the industry of decolonisation, Ian Smith’s 1965 unilateral declaration of independence, international sanctions, and the 1970s intensified African liberation struggles. Apart from making a significant contribution to Zimbabwe’s economic history, it has broader implications for regional and international trade debates, as it takes its place alongside a small but growing literature on settler-colonial stud

Postdoctoral Fellow, International Studies Group, University of the Free State  -  Beyond the State: Global, Regional, and Local Relations in Zimbabwe's Tobacco Industry, 1947-79

ADETAYO OLUDARE ALADE
ADETAYO OLUDARE ALADE  |  Abstract
Among the Yoruba people, fictional entities are introduced as characters in folktales. Many African scholars have discussed the importance of folktales in the preservation and transmission of cultural values and virtues without paying attention to the implications of the commonsense intuition that fictional entities do not exist. This commonsense intuition has negative implications for the truth conveyed by propositions in the folktales. It has been argued that the existence of fictional entities is required to account for the truth of propositions in fictional discourse. This study argues to defend the position that fictional entities exist and that adopting this realist position helps to justify the truths contained in Yoruba folktales.

Lecturer I, Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  Fictional Realism and the Didactic Nature of Yoruba Folktales

Emeka Thaddues Njoku
Emeka Thaddues Njoku  |  Abstract
What happens to expressions and meanings of masculinity in the event of conflict-related sexual violence (CSRV) against men and boys? How might we progressively study masculinities in ways that nuances critical understandings on CSRV beyond gendered assumptions and stereotypes around innocence, victimhood, and violability of specific bodies? Debates on CRSV have been marked by a strong focus on women and girls; thus, men as gendered subjects have not been accounted for. This study will draw on interviews conducted with male victims, humanitarian workers, and government officials in north-east Nigeria, a context widely noted for terrorist violence. This study argues for a more critical understanding of what it may mean to be a male victim of CSRV. In Nigeria, where dominant perceptions link male sexual violence to being gay, the study problematises how disclosure of CSRV may further expose a man’s masculinity to a particularly precarious situation and even socio-legal persecution.

Adjunct Lecturer, Political Science, University of Ibadan  -  Masculinity, Male Bodies and Victimhood in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in North-eastern Nigeria

George Katoto Ambindwile
George Katoto Ambindwile  |  Abstract
This study examines the people`s roles on the development of husk use and its environmental advantages in the Usangu Plains, from the mid 1980s to the present. The people in question are mainly ordinary people mainly peasants who are the main actors of major grass-root innovations and transformations; however they wittingly go unnoticed or undocumented. Rather than focusing synchronically on the roles of government and conventional scientific theories, the international community, and Non-governmental organizations as has been done by many studies, this study concentrates on the ordinary people`s roles at the grass-root levels. Drawing on a wide range archival records, secondary sources and oral interviews of people at the grass-root level, this study not only brings to the fore the voices of the people`s agency, but it improves on the existing literature by clarifying and demonstrating that the peasants in the Usangu Plains have acted as agents who have made their own history by transforming their circumstances such as the use of husk, through their own material production.

Lecturer, History, University of Dar es Salaam  -  From Waste to Resource: Rice Husk and its Environmental Advantages in the Usangu Plains, Tanzania, Mid-1980s to the Present

Promise Nyatepeh Nyatuame
Promise Nyatepeh Nyatuame  |  Abstract
Misego, which is a ‘sacred’ performance of the Anlos of Ghana, has been described by several cultural anthropologists as ‘dance’ or ‘musical-dance’ or ‘musical accompaniment’ to a ‘dance’. Such inconsistent considerations undermine its numerous functions. In fact, a critical study of Anlo oral histories reveals Misego as a compelling reenactment of history through a collective reconstruction of a liberatory political exodus narrative of the Anlos. Using ethnography and socio-cultural historical theories, I argue that Misego is not a mere artistic repertoire of dance and/or music but a configured performative manifestation of history and cultural repository of the people. My study will expand the frontiers of socio-cultural historical narratives and their application in performance studies. It also contributes to historical documentation and education in that it shows that oral traditions, like other sources of history, are a treasure in historical reconstructions, especially in the re-memorialisation of the history of indigenous communities.

Lecturer, Department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Cape Coast  -  MEMORIES OF LIBERATION RECONSTRUCTED: HISTORICAL SEMIOTICS IN MISEGO PERFORMANCE OF THE ANLOS OF GHANA

Apex Anselm Apeh
Apex Anselm Apeh  |  Abstract
“Ayamelum” (war made me), expresses how memories of wars have shaped the dynamics of intergroup relations in the Igbo-Igala borderland of the Anambra Basin, Nigeria. The rich soil and commercial opportunities engendered by the Niger and Anambra rivers endeared this area to both the Igbo and the Igala, hence the numerous legends, folklores, and myths on wars and conquest. This is an ethnographic inquiry into the dynamics of intergroup relations in the Anambra Basin with a view to identifying their common identities, culture, tradition, economy, and politics, especially regarding how these have been shaped by memories of war. The study contends that the memories of wars in the area have stiffened prejudices and narrowed sympathies hence the name, Ayamelum. Relying mainly on primary sources, as well as on extant literature, this inquiry aims to identify the common decimals among communities in the Basin and how these have shaped their relationships and engendered peaceful co-existence.

Senior Lecturer, History and International Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka  -  "Ayamelum": Memory, history, and inter-group relations in the Anambra Basin of Nigeria

Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani
Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani  |  Abstract
African writers normally romanticise the past ontologies of African women where they held considerable social power. This obscures the gender imbalances in precolonial and post-contact Africa. The nd’ishi tradition of northernmost Igbo communities (generally called Nsukka) is a paradox that all of pre-contact Africa had a fair deal for the female. Among them, married women that engage in extramarital affairs or who assist their natal relatives without their husbands’ permissions became mentally deranged unless they confess early enough and certain purifications applied. Employing phenomenology and historical methodology, I will examine the lived experiences of Nsukka women and analyse how the male folk deftly deploy the nd’ishi tradition to relieve them of control over their sexuality and material resources, and the growing defiance by women through ritual “blinding” of nd’ishi tradition. This study will be an ethnographic example that subverts the prevailing romanticised view of gender balance across traditional African societies.

Lecturer I, Department of History and International Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka  -  Gender, Sexuality and Struggles for Control: The Nd’ishi Tradition among the Nsukka-Igbo of South-eastern Nigeria

Rogers Asempasah
Rogers Asempasah  |  Abstract
This study explores the speaking animal and animal gaze in highlife sung tale in Akan as a mode of political critique and a pedagogy of the everyday by focusing on the representation of animals as ethical observers and commentators on socio-political norms. The study argues that the Akan sung tale interrogates the public sphere through the representation of the animal as a thinking, critical and intimate Other. The sung tale is conceptualised as a site of contestation of human exceptionalism and a commentary on human duplicity and shame. This has implications for the scholarship on music and the public sphere, the animal turn, cultural production and framing of knowledge and critique. Although scholars have discussed the genealogy, socio-cultural and political dimensions of highlife music in Ghana, the representation of animals has not received much attention. The study adopts an interdisciplinary approach that draws on folklore, musicology, animal studies, and literature.

Senior Lecturer, Department of English, University of Cape Coast  -  Beyond the Tunes: The Animal Gaze, Critique and Pedagogies of the Everyday in Highlife Music in Ghana

Robert - Ojambo
Robert - Ojambo  |  Abstract
This study investigates the land question in socio-political conflicts in Eastern Uganda. Using a qualitative approach; with help of archival records, oral interviews and other written documents, the study shows that: the land question in Eastern Uganda had its origins in the diverse local land tenure regimes of the pre-colonial societies; it also shows that colonial land policies escalated the land question, which in turn led to socio-political conflict between individuals, families and communities in Eastern Uganda especially in Bukedi, Bugisu and Teso; people’s perceptions of the land policies put in place the post-colonial period evoked emotional responses and political actions, which raised questions over land ownership, distribution, use as well as resource management and ultimately, identity and citizen rights. Therefore, the study concludes that patterns of socio-political conflicts in Eastern Uganda are closely linked to long standing issues of concerning ownership and access of land. It also discounts the Neo-liberal view which has been emphasising individualisation of land tenure as a panacea to land conflicts in Africa, as it only worsens the situation.

Senior Lecturer, History, Kyambogo University  -  The Land Question in the Socio-political Conflicts in Eastern Uganda 1900-2007

Janet Boateng
Janet Boateng  |  Abstract
The areas of concern for women in post-independence African states continue to widen. One of the significant issues is women exclusion from statecraft despite their active contribution during decades of nationalism. Historians attempting to recover histories of women during independence struggles often explain why women became activists, and how they were frequently "forgotten" in the political terrain. These scholars hesitate to acknowledge why some women were appointed into government. Historically, the CPP government in post-independence Ghana had specifically designated ten seats in parliament for women to demonstrate their recognition in the independence struggle. Using archival data and interviews, this study will explore reasons behind this designation and what nuances researchers have sidelined when African nationalism is gendered and dichotomized between government and women. This project addresses the history of contestations, using the histories of women legislators in Ghana's first parliament.

Research Fellow, Environment, Governance and Sustainable Development, University of Cape Coast  -  Gendered Nationalism and Contested Spaces: Life Histories of Selected Ghanaian Women Nationalists

Ndukaku Okorie
Ndukaku Okorie  |  Abstract
Theoretical ethics grapples with the challenge of partiality and impartiality as a critical debate in African ethics. There is a polarity on how best this should be engaged. While scholars such as Wiredu, Gyekye, on the one hand, emphasized impartialist moral intuitions, Appiah, Metz, and Molefe, on the other, argue for a partialist reading of African ethics. Existing literature is replete with disagreements between the duo. However, it has not been adequately demonstrated that moral partiality and impartiality are universal moral elements, not restricted to particular culture. This study argues that a critical look at African ethics will reveal that partiality and impartiality are two sides of the same coin. Hence, partiality and impartiality are two aspects of African ethics, which are reconcilable. The gap between them is not as wide as ethicists contend. This study affirms that partiality and impartiality are universal moral elements, which are not peculiar to African ethics but also reconcilable.

Lecturer I, Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  Between Moral Partiality and Impartiality in African Ethics

Wincharles Coker
Wincharles Coker  |  Abstract
In what ways do Christian religious leaders shape governance in contemporary Ghanaian politics? Although research has shown that the separation of Church and State is theoretical, formal inquiries into how influential clergymen tend to become in active national politics are rare. This proposed study aims to examine how populism manifests itself through the presidential patronage of popular prophets in Ghanaian politics. Using an interpretive case study, I intend to deconstruct the media rhetoric of two popular prophets believed to belong to the two leading political parties in Ghana as well as examine President Akufo-Addo and ex-President Mahama’s own defense in response to their association with these religious leaders. Data will be gathered from formal interviews with participants, sermons of these religious politicians posted online, and radio and television interviews granted these religious leaders. The study will have implications on how logic, ethos, and faith shape the political space.

Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, University of Cape Coast  -  "Thus sayeth the Lord!": A Deconstruction of the Rise of the Prophets in Ghanaian Politics

Kwame Osei-Poku
Kwame Osei-Poku  |  Abstract
This project engages in a critical multidisciplinary analysis of a selection of archived travelogues published in the defunct West African Review magazine of the colonial period (the 1930s – early 1950s). The analysis of these travelogues suggests a way to re-imagine and refocus the experiences and observations of the African authors who produced and replicated a genre which hitherto, and until quite recently, has been a major tool on by the West or European authors in shaping perceptions about many African and Oriental journey locations. What is most essential to this study is a concern about how African authored travel writing within the colonial period might conceive notions about identity, and contribute to ideological construction.

Lecturer, English, University of Ghana  -  JOURNEYS IN AND OUT OF THE COLONY: CRITICAL REFLECTIONS ON AFRICAN AUTHORED TRAVEL WRITING OF THE COLONIAL PERIOD (1930-1954)

kingsley C Daraojimba
kingsley C Daraojimba  |  Abstract
Ancestral Owu is one of the earliest and most formidable towns in which the Yoruba speaking people of southwestern Nigeria are situated. However, the internecine war between Owu and the allied forces of Ife, Ijebu and Oyo in the second decade of the 19th century led to the dispersal of Owu into several communities. Over time, there has been contestations amongst scholars on the possible original homeland of the Owu. Orile-Owu is one of such communities which lay claim to be the ancestral home of the Owu. Presently, little is known about the archaeological sequence and cultural history of this Yoruba sub-group. This research contributes to defining the chronostratigraphic sequence of material culture of the area. I also intend to investigate these historic claims on origin using environmental and historical archaeological evidence in order to fill critical gaps in the historiography of a West African community

Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Tourism, University of Nigeria, Nsukka  -  Understanding the settlement history of an ancestral African community: Environmental and Historical archaeology perspectives

Abdul-Gafar Oluwatobiloba Oshodi
Abdul-Gafar Oluwatobiloba Oshodi  |  Abstract
Though there has been significant academic interest in Africa-China encounters driven by China’s growing influence and presence on the continent, the dominant historiography continues to favour an Afro-centric approach that prioritises actors (both Chinese and African) and their actions ‘within’ Africa. The approach is generally silent on how Africans imagine China ‘outside’ of Africa. This research project explores a Chinese-centric narrative of China in Africa that constructs the imageries of China through Ghanaian newspapers’ reports between 1957 and 1976 (a period when Mao Zedong was China’s leader). The project is interested in the frames, language and cartoons, context, and sources of reports about China as a country in the newspapers. Data for the research project will be collected at the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) in Accra, the Ghana Parliament library, and the University of Ghana’s Balme and Institute of African Studies (IAS) libraries. Discourse and thematic analysis of the data will be conducted using NVIVO, a qualitative research software.

Lecturer II, Department of Political Science, Lagos State University  -  Imageries of Mao Zedong’s China in Ghanaian newspapers, 1957-1976

Isaac Dery
Isaac Dery  |  Abstract
Drawing on interviews and focus group discussions with men in northwestern Ghana, this project provides rich empirical insights and accounts on the range of social subjectivities, struggles, and tensions that shape postcolonial masculinities. My findings highlight how social subjectivities and multiple struggles around the meanings of masculinities are constantly contested, re/negotiated, and made sense in the face of enormous economic precarity. My findings further underscore the applications and cultural usefulness of developing robust evidence and knowledge base which privileges a critical reading and understanding of (African) men’s gendered subjectivities as historically contingent, culturally constructed, and constantly in dialogue with the structural and material realities that confront the everyday meaning-making of men. Situated within critical feminist intersectional framework, my findings invite critical African masculinities scholars to develop concepts, frameworks, epistemologies, and theories which are relevant to the cultural sensibility and meaning-making of the continent and its constituents. I argue that any academic intervention on gender and masculinities in Africa must draw on local resources and perspectives while simultaneously dialoguing with existing concepts in a way that adapts them usefully to African conditions and struggles. The limitations of ‘Northern’ concepts and theories sometimes impoverish understanding of social subjectivities and multiple struggles in the continent. African masculinity theorists need to take the best concepts and theories developed predominantly from the ‘North’ and find ways of using and applying them to illustrate and illuminate in the most beneficial way the nuances, complexities and contradictory subjectivities and struggles entangled in performances and enactments of gender broadly.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Social and Health Sciences, University of South Africa  -  Masculinities in postcolonial Africa: Theorizing Doo-Menga as Male Gendered Subjectivities

Jimmy Spire Ssentongo
Jimmy Spire Ssentongo  |  Abstract
Many studies on ethnic conflict focus on explaining embedded causal dynamics with little attention to ethnic pluralism. This study seeks to understand how people in contexts of ethnic tension imagine possibilities for co-existence in view of contributing to theories of ethnic pluralism. Kibaale District presents an interesting case where there have been moments of co-existence and fighting between the ‘indigenous’ people and immigrants. Whereas there has been much to explain the episodes of tension, the moments of peace are scarcely discussed. Whereas it is important to know why people fight, it is also crucial to understand why they sometimes do not.

Senior Lecturer, School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Uganda Martyrs University  -  Spaces for pluralism in ‘ethnically sensitive’ communities: The Case of Kibaale District in Uganda

Jennalee Donian
Jennalee Donian  |  Abstract
In post-apartheid South Africa, a deeply divided society grappling with racial and cultural antagonism and social inequality, humour has significant potential to mediate intolerance, defuse tension, cultivate national healing, and promote social cohesion. This notwithstanding, humour remains relatively under-investigated in South African academia, particularly in relation to how it might contribute to, and shape, wider socio-political dynamics. Drawing on media and cultural studies, philosophy, and political science, and by way of critical interpretive textual analysis of representative comedic pieces (live performances, written texts, visual or graphic phenomena), this study explores the intersection of humour/comedy and peacebuilding in the fractious post-apartheid milieu. In particular, it draws on the political aesthetic theory of Jacques Rancière’s as the basis for thinking about these texts as meaningful political acts that shape the wider assumptions of their social context, with a particular emphasis on how they frame key political questions of equality and reconciliation.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa, University of Fort Hare  -  Laughing When It Hurts: The Power of Comedy in Building Community and Opening Dialogue in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Gideon Yohanna Tambiyi
Gideon Yohanna Tambiyi  |  Abstract
Recent discoveries have uncovered numerous variant readings to the text of the Greek New Testament as a result of scribal practices in Hellenistic Egypt. These textual variants have exposed the corruption of the text as part of the works undertaken by the early Egyptian scribes. These texts witnessed interpolations and reduction but such Alexandrian efforts have vanished in history as Africans are seldom involved in analyzing some of these newly discovered biblical manuscripts. This work argues that the Egyptian Christians were the earliest emendators who engaged in text-critical studies through the production, preservation, and the palaeographical, papyrological and codicological analyses of ancient biblical manuscripts and that the efforts of the Egyptian Christians were to emend the text but ended up corrupting the text. The work also intends to show how such understanding can help the revisit of these early Egyptian Christians' efforts and practices in our African universities in order to compete and cooperate with Western counterparts through participating in the modern emendation processes of the Greek New Testament.

Lecturer I, Religion and Philosophy, University of Jos  -  From Emendation to Corruption: Textual Transmission and Papyrologico-tradition in Hellenistic Egypt

Ehijele Femi Eromosele
Ehijele Femi Eromosele  |  Abstract
This project investigates the place of music video in Nigerian popular culture, with emphasis on the idea of “borderlessness”. In content, form, process of production and modes of dissemination, music video is constituted as a converging point of movements. This quality enables it to occupy a unique position in the ecology of screen media in Nigeria. Using Lagos as a case in point, the research examines how music videos express life in the city and enable a tracking of its cultural flows with other spaces, national and international. It proposes a decentring of Nollywood as the sole or default lens to view audio-visual production in Nigeria.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria  -  Moving in/through worlds: Lagos, Music Video and Nigerian Screen Culture

William Tayeebwa
William Tayeebwa  |  Abstract
This study interrogates how editorial cartoons in two South Sudan daily newspapers, The Monitor and The Dawn, present the social-cultural and political narratives that have under-girded the violence the young nation has experienced since independence in 2011. Using the theory of semiotics developed by Ferdinand de Saussure and expounded by Roland Barthes, the study probes selected newspaper cartoons as literary tropes used to explicate the written narrative on the complex social-cultural and political issues of nation building. Whereas cartoons in general rely heavily on semiotic systems, newspaper cartoons are often a commentary on the topical issues covered in texts within the publication. In that respect, the study proposes Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a framework to interrogate the cartoons as referential or affirmational forms of the ethno-political strife that has characterized the country; but also how they present aspirational narratives of community and the hope for a better future.

Lecturer, Journalism and Communication, Makerere University  -  The Space of Newspaper Cartoons in Mediating Social-Cultural and Political Reality in South Sudan

Omotayo Ibukun Fakayode
Omotayo Ibukun Fakayode  |  Abstract
This study examines the use of gender in the two German translations of Chinua Achebe’s “No Longer At Ease”. It evaluates the strategies employed by the translators in the transfer of gendered language in the source text into the target text. The meta-texts to be examined include folktales, songs and Igbo proverbs present in the novel. The study employs the feminist translation theory as propounded by von Flotow (1991) for the analysis in the study. The study will show how German being a more gendered language helps to highlight particular gender biases of the author in translation. The two German translations to be used for the study are “Obi. Ein afrikanischer Roman” and “Heimkehr in fremdes Land”. The study justifies itself in that it will bring to lime light the fact that translation can aid in highlighting the subtle gender biases of the author of the original text.

Lecturer I, Department of Foreign Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  The German Translations of Oral Literature in Achebe's "No Longer At Ease": A Feminist Critique.

Janeke Deodata Thumbran
Janeke Deodata Thumbran  |  Abstract
My proposed project is to develop my PhD dissertation into a book manuscript. The PhD dissertation titled, “The ‘Coloured Question’ and the University of Pretoria: Separate Development, Trusteeship and Self Reliance, 1933-2012” tracked the apartheid state’s shifting discourses on the ‘coloured’ category as part of its attempt to resolve the 'coloured question': the political and social conundrum of where those categorized racially as ‘coloured’ belonged in South African society. The book manuscript project titled “From Stellenbosch to Pretoria: (Re)-Locating the ‘Coloured Question’ (1932-1990),” argues that, through the state’s shifting discourses, the ‘coloured question’ moved out of the geographical and epistemological space of the Western Cape, to the Transvaal. The objective of the manuscript is to trace how and why this move occurred.

Lecturer, History, Rhodes University  -  From Stellenbosch to Pretoria: (Re)-Locating the ‘Coloured Question’ (1932-1990)

Victor Muchineripi Gwande
Victor Muchineripi Gwande  |  Abstract
Whereas previous accounts of the growth and development of manufacturing industry in colonial Zimbabwe emphasised the role of the state, whether positive or negative, this book, explores policy proposals and political pressure exerted by organised chambers of industry between 1890 and 1979. By privileging the efforts of industrialists which hitherto have been neglected in the historiography, the book moves beyond the existing scholarship’s emphasis on the actions of the state in the industrialisation of colonial Zimbabwe through planning, regulation and establishment of major industries of national importance. While this existing analysis is correct, it is incomplete. I advance that the expansion and diversification of industry which took place in colonial Zimbabwe was, among other factors, attributable to the efforts of industrialists, who galvanised and formed representative organisations to advance their interests, pitting them against the state and other blocs of capital-farmers, miners and commerce.

Postdoctoral Fellow, International Studies Group, University of the Free State  -  Interest Group Politics and the State: The Political Economy of Manufacturing in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890–1979

Olusegun Stephen Titus
Olusegun Stephen Titus  |  Abstract
Scholarship on Nigerian musical spaces have tended towards preoccupation with romanticisation. However, little scholarly attention has been directed at the engagement of popular music with environmental degradation. The central thesis of this study is that the people of the Niger Delta have ideas, assumptions and values about the environment – a form of indigenous ecological knowledge – that they express in music and that they bring to bear on socio-environmental problems related to natural resource extraction. Musicians whose works reflect the dominant trends in the environmental humanities of Niger Delta oil include Felix Liberty, Inatimi Alfred Odon, Nneka Nnodim, and the Egbesu Festival singers. The study employs ethnographic research, musical and textual analysis in the context of ecomusicology theory and the idea of slow violence and an environmentalism of the poor. The study concludes that music is a productive tool that connects people emotionally to their environment and helps advocate for sustainability.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Music, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  Musical Representations of Oil, Environmental Degradation, (In)justice and (Dis)placement in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

Michell A House
Michell A House  |  Abstract
Great Zimbabwe was the centre of an ancient Shona state from AD1200- 1700. In this society, cattle were vitally important in social, economic and political spheres. However, the origins and herd management strategies of cattle from Great Zimbabwe have never been explored using empirical evidence, although researchers have proposed seasonal transhumance between upland and lowland regions. In this thesis, measurements of 87Sr/86Sr, δ18O, δ13C and δ15N profiles in serial samples of tooth enamel and dentine from 27 archaeological cattle teeth enable investigation of several aspects of cattle procurement and management. Taken together, the isotope measurements show that cattle at Great Zimbabwe came from a broad geographical area. Cattle fed mainly on C4 grass throughout the period from AD1300 to 1600, although some also consumed limited amounts of browse. Heterogenous δ13C profiles indicate that animals derived from different environments, and that calves were born at different times of year. In combination with the distribution of Zimbabwe Culture material, this study contributes to our understanding of the flow of key resources within the Zimbabwe state. This study emphasises how economically connected the landscape was during the thriving of the Zimbabwe state. It makes a significant contribution to our hitherto very limited knowledge of the flow of regional (as opposed to imported) commodities.

Research Fellow, Archaeology, University of Cape Town, South Africa  -  Investigating procurement and management of cattle supplied to Great Zimbabwe from AD1300-1600 using multiple stable isotopes.

Doreen Rumbidzai Tivenga
Doreen Rumbidzai Tivenga  |  Abstract
This book engages in an in-depth study of Zimbabwean urban youth identities through the lenses of urban grooves and related urban contemporary musical genres which have grown rapidly, and influence and intersect with different ways urban youth map and express their identities. The study involves a textual analysis of urban grooves music and video texts which is complemented by interviews with urban youth, urban grooves musicians, music promoters and producers, while some of the research findings are based on observations I made during some musical shows I attended as part of the audience or consumers of urban grooves. This book argues that the shifting nature of Zimbabwe urban grooves music and the associated globalised shifting world since its formation intersect with various ways urban youth construct and map their identities and agencies, the nature of relationships among the youth and between the musicians and consumers of the music.

Postdoctoral Fellow, English, University of the Free State  -  Understanding Zimbabwean Urban Youth Identities Through Zimbabwe Urban Grooves Music and Related Urban Contemporary Music

Joseph Udimal Kachim
Joseph Udimal Kachim  |  Abstract
Since the colonial period, the Konkomba have been marginalised and excluded from traditional political and land rights in Ghana. Although mobility has been a fundamental aspect of Konkomba social life, existing works have ignored its impact on their status. This study explores how the mobile social life of the Konkomba shaped their marginality and exclusion at the local level. Using archival and oral sources, the study analyses Konkomba mobility not only as a source of marginality but also as a political tool used to negotiate their survival and autonomy. While documenting the nature and changing patterns of the Konkomba mobility and the political context within which they occurred, the study explores the historical processes and struggles that underpinned the construction of Konkomba marginality and provides insights into the prevailing contestations over their belonging in northern Ghana. In doing so, the study provides a new window for understanding Konkomba history and contributes to debates around mobility, marginality and belonging in Africa.

Lecturer, Department of History, University of Cape Coast  -  Staying on the Margins: Konkomba Mobility and Belonging in Northern Ghana, 1914-1994

Monica Sylvanus Udoette
Monica Sylvanus Udoette  |  Abstract
Scholarly works on African fiction continue to focus the socio-economic disenchantment, poor leadership and the corroded cultural values that stem from colonial encounters, while less attention is given specifically to war narratives and resultant dystopias in African fiction. This trope of fiction captures wars and their effects on post-independent African societies. This research therefore investigates dystopian condition as captured in African novels. Six texts were purposefully selected from the geo-political spread of the continent, including Saah Millimono’s Boy Interrupted, Akachi Ezeigbo’s Roses and Bullets, Veronique Tadjo’s The Shadow of Imana, Tayeb Saleh’s Season of Migration to the North, Leila Aboulela’s Minaret and Jon White’sWaiting for the Mango Rains, for in-depth analysis. With Psychoanalytical and trauma theories, this study interrogates the tension, pain, traumatizing memory that ooze out from the select texts as a project of charting intellectual pathway to mediating war and post-war han

Lecturer I, Department of English, Akwa Ibom State University  -  Writing Dystopia, Thinking Generational Impact: A Critical Reading of African War Narratives

Hezron Romanus Kangalawe
Hezron Romanus Kangalawe  |  Abstract
In Africa exotic tree species were imposed through colonialism. Those exotic tree species interfered with the culture and traditions of the communities around those planted forests. In Mufindi district of Iringa region in Tanzania, the British introduced exotic tree species namely pines in 1939 from which after independence its acreage was increased to become the biggest plantation forests in Tanzania with 135, 903 hectares. Because of such big chunk of land taken by the state for plantation forests some cultural institutions for the Hehe were compromised. Those exotic tree species have brought changes to the adjacent communities with regards to what they eat and drink, their burial areas, land tenure and access to medicinal herbs. This project will explore historically the memories of the people of Mufindi around the plantation forests on their memories between 1940 and 2015. The end product of the project will be a book manuscript

Lecturer, History, University of Dar es Salaam  -  Forest Dwellers: Culture, Traditions and Society in Mufindi, Tanzania, 1940-2015

John Kelechi Ugwuanyi
John Kelechi Ugwuanyi  |  Abstract
The human-nature relationships across African communities are a heritage ontology that preserves landforms, water bodies, and environmental species as well as cultural practices. At contact with the imperial Europe, this ontology was dismissed as ‘animism’ or ‘totemism’. In this study, I use ethnographic methods of data collection – observation and interview – to explore the connectivity between posthumanism and animism in the context of heritage discourse, focusing on human and nonhuman relational ontologies that exist among the Igbo of southeast Nigeria. I interrogate the Igbo knowledge systems in the face of the challenges of survival of human and nonhuman life forms. I examine how the posthuman (or animistic?) ontologies help to preserve African environment, its contents, and cultural practices thereto. I argue that ‘posthumanism’ is ‘animism’ retheorized. I utilize the knowledge derived to contemplate an inclusive and sustainable conservation model that preserves ecological species and the associated cultural practices against the threatening effects of urbanization, industrialization, and technological innovation in the Anthropocene age.

Lecturer I, Archaeology and Tourism, University of Nigeria, Nsukka  -  Posthumanism or Animism? The Anthropocene Problem and African Heritage Ontologies