Ghana: Social Transformation and Cultural Expression
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The interdisciplinary coursework in the Ghana: Social Transformation and Cultural Expression program examines Ghana's artistic heritage in the context of the country's historical and contemporary socioeconomic development. Lectures are held at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, or at appropriate locations in Ghana. The Research Methods and Ethics course focuses on culturally appropriate and ethical field research methodology, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP).
The Twi language course is designed to prepare students for daily social and academic demands and to provide access into the host culture through Asante Twi. Students are thus enabled to enrich all aspects of their experience abroad through greater ability to function in the host language in lectures, during field methods exercises, while conducting fieldwork for the Independent Study Project, and when interacting with host families and local contacts.
The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Social Transformation and Cultural Expression – syllabus (PDF)
(AFRS 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course taught in English that explores a broad spectrum of artistic and cultural forms in Ghana from diverse cultural and geographic spaces. The course aims to provide a critical examination of the impact of local and global influences on Ghanaian artistic and cultural phenomena at national, regional, and local levels.
Visual and Performing Arts in Ghana – syllabus (PDF)
(ARTS 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in English that exposes students to Ghana’s rich diversity of artistic traditions through a series of performances, workshops, and lecture demonstrations by lecturers, artisans, and/or other individuals recognized as expert practitioners in their respective fields. This course actively engages students with multiple artistic expressions from across Ghana. An emphasis is placed on participation and active involvement.
Intensive Language Study: Twi - syllabus (PDF)
(TWII 1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This intensive course in Asante Twi is designed to prepare students for daily social interaction and to provide access to the local culture. Students are thus able to enrich all aspects of their experience abroad through the ability to function in Asante Twi during field methods exercises, while conducting fieldwork for the Independent Study Project, and when interacting with homestay families and local contacts.
Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Research Methods and Ethics course provides students with the essential tools required to conduct independent study in the visual or performing arts in Ghana from a multidisciplinary perspective. Material includes cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies, including arts-based research practices; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; and maintaining a field journal.
Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Accra, Kumasi, or in another approved location appropriate to the project. Sample topic areas: meaning of kente and adinkra cloth; Ghanaian drumming, dancing, and/or singing; divination; storytelling; Islam, Christianity, or “traditional” religious expression in Ghana; use of traditional medicine; modern African theater; the Ghanaian film industry; religious expression in traditional art; weaving; craft production for the tourist trade; contemporary Ghanaian art.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Accra
Language Study: Twi
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