Ghana: Origins of African Identity
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Faculty and Staff
Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor, PhD
Dr. Avorgbedor was born and raised in a well-known weaving and fishing village in the Volta Region of Ghana. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana (Legon), he was awarded a graduate scholarship, which enabled him to pursue studies in the US, specifically, an MA at Truman University (1978) and a PhD at Indiana University (1986). Dr. Avorgbedor has since taught at the University of Ghana, Legon (1986–1989); Bretton Hall College, UK (1989); and the City College of New York (1990–1994). Additionally, he served as associate professor and coordinator of the ethnomusicology program (2004–2009) and co-director of the Lusophone Research Working Group (2008–2009) at The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus. He also served as editor of RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (1990–1994). He designed and led a study abroad program to Ghana for OSU (2000–2004) and has served as advisor to study abroad programs focusing on Ghana. He recently served as visiting scholar to Humboldt University of Berlin and Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany.
Dr. Avorgbedor’s research and teaching specializations include African diaspora—theory and method; world music theories and pedagogy; urban cultures; music in relation to human mobility and diasporic formations; contemporary Christian music and dimensions of sacred-secular continua; African retentions in African American performance and expressive cultures; and musical traditions of the Anlo-Ewe of Ghana. Dr. Avorgbedor also conducts workshops and lectures on African drumming and indigenous Ewe narrow-strip loom weaving. He led a weaving residency/workshop at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998.
Dr. Avorgbedor has published widely, including essays in Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (1998); New Grove Dictionary of Music (2000); African Folklore: An Encyclopedia (Routledge, 2004); Shamanism: An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture (ABC-CLIO, 2004); and Ewe Handbook, Vol. 3 (Woeli, 2005). He edited the collection of essays The Interrelatedness of Music, Religion and Ritual in African Performance Practice (Mellen, 2003) and guest-edited a special issue of World of Music on cross-cultural aesthetics (2003). Additional essays have appeared in Ethnomusicology, World Music, Oral Tradition, Research in African Literatures, and Cahiers de musiques traditionnelles, among other publications. He has received grants from NEH, Guggenheim, Wenner-Gren, and the Lilly Endowment.
Ebo Sam, Program Assistant
Mr. Ebo Sam holds a postsecondary teaching certificate and has taught for several years at the junior high school level in the Ghanaian school system. He joined SIT in 1996 as a host father for students before moving into an administrative role. He is responsible for general logistics and acts as the backbone of the program.
Lydia Johnson, Office Assistant
Lydia Johnson joined the SIT Ghana program in Cape Coast in 2006. She holds a higher national diploma in marketing. In addition to supporting students during the program periods in Ghana, she serves as the program’s office assistant.
Ama Hemans, Homestay Coordinator
Ama Hemans serves as the SIT Cape Coast program’s homestay coordinator. Ama completed a diploma program at St. Mary’s Vocational Institute, Elmina, and specializes in catering, fashion, and design, especially tie-dye. Mrs. Hemans knows the Cape Coast community well and is a resource and support for students during their homestays. She is married and has a son.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD
Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang was, until October 2012, the vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, and the first female vice-chancellor of a state university in Ghana. Prior to assuming her current post, she was the academic director for SIT’s Cape Coast program from 1997 to 2008, professor of literature in the Department of English at UCC, and the dean of graduate studies at the same university.
Dr. Opoku-Agyemang received a BA in French and English and a diploma in education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and an MA and PhD from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has taught courses at Eastern Washington University, USA, and York University, Canada. Dr. Opoku-Agyemang has published many articles on the topic of African women's literature and oral literature in Africa. Her books include A Handbook for Writing Skills and a collection of essays on the African diaspora entitled Africa and Trans-Atlantic Memories: Literary and Aesthetic Manifestations of Diaspora and History. The latter is co-edited with Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar and fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and Research into the African Humanities at Northwestern University. Dr. Opoku-Agyemang is also a member of Ghana’s Academy of Arts and Sciences Council. Her research interests include the African diaspora, issues in higher education, oral literature in Africa, and literature written by women.
Professor Akosua Perbi, PhD
Dr. Akosua Perbi holds a PhD in history and lectures in the Department of History, University of Ghana, Legon. She is an internationally recognized expert on the history of the transatlantic slave trade, including domestic and indigenous varieties. Dr. Perbi has contributed numerous chapters to edited volumes on the slave trade and is consultant on the subject, including issues of reparation and repatriation.
Professor Ato Delaquis, MFA
Dr. Delaquis obtained a BFA in painting from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 1971 and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Temple University’s Tyler School of Arts in 1975. He has taught creative painting at KNUST College of Arts for over thirty years, becoming a full professor in 1999. He served as the college’s dean from 2002 to 2005.
Dr. Delaquis first began building a reputation in creative painting in Ghana’s art scene during his teens. Well known in African contemporary art circles, he is considered a pioneer in the use of modern African lifestyles in urban centers as the basis of artistic expression. He has exhibited internationally and received many awards; he has participated in more than seventy exhibitions (both solo and group) since the 1970s. His art has been featured in various books, journals, and magazines on contemporary African art. His life and work are featured in the visual arts textbook for secondary school students in Ghana. In addition to his creative painting, Dr. Delaquis has been an avid illustrator of books and magazines since the 1960s. He is among the few African artists who also write on various aspects of contemporary African art, and he has published in this area.
Professor Elisée Soumoni (Benin)
Dr. Elisée Soumoni obtained a PhD in history from University of Ife, Nigeria, in 1983 and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures in history from Paris-Sorbonne, France, in 1967. He is an established scholar and professor of history and archaeology at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin; he is also member of the Board of Directors, Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD). Dr. Soumonni is an international expert and consultant on slavery and African cultural heritage studies and serves on UNSECO committees on the slave routes project. His scholarly essays include a chapter titled, “Some Reflections on the Brazilian Legacy in Dahomey” in the volume Rethinking the African Diaspora: The Making of a Black Atlantic World in the Bight of Benin and Brazil (Ed. Kristin Mann and Edna Bay, 2001).
Professor Richmond Teye Ackam, PhD
Dr. Richmond Teye Ackam is associate professor of art in painting at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He is a Fulbright African Senior Scholar and also an international committee member of the College Art Association, USA. Dr. Ackam is the innovator of the “Ackamism” style of painting, which dramatizes a play of dots. Over the years, different forms of Ackamism tesserae have evolved, with twenty distinct types. His specialties include artistic expressions of the African diaspora, and he is an expert in local Adinkra cloth patterns and design.
Professor Joseph Benjamin Afful, PhD
Dr. Afful is currently head of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He obtained an MPhil in 1998 from the University of Cape Coast and a PhD in 2005 from the National University of Singapore, with specialties in language use and the relationships between language and cultural communication. Dr. Afful has taught at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa from 2006–2007. His teaching areas include research methods, discourse and pragmatics, and sociolinguistics.
Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, PhD
Dr. Ampiah is an associate professor as well as the dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He served as head of the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Cape Coast from 2008–2010. Dr. Ampiah obtained an MPhil in science education in 2005 and a PhD in science education in 2002 from the University of Cape Coast. He has been a visiting research fellow at several international institutions, including University of Sussex (UK). His national research projects include CREATE (2007–2010); Baseline Research Survey for Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education (STM) Project in Ghana; Mid-term Evaluation of Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education (STM) Project in Ghana (2002); and many others. Dr. Ampiah is a member of several national and international associations, including the Ghana Chemical Society and the British Association for International and Comparative Education. He is also a member of CICE’s editorial board at Hiroshima University, Japan. He has published 34 refereed articles and book chapters as well as 33 papers presented at various national and international conferences.
Professor Akosua Anyidoho, PhD
Dr. Akosua Anyidoho studied at the Advanced Teacher Training College in Winneba, Ghana, and at Ormskirk College of Education, England. She holds a BA in English and linguistics from the University of Ghana, Legon, and an MA and PhD in foreign language education (applied linguistics) from the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Anyidoho joined the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1984, where she taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses until her retirement. In 2004, Dr. Anyidoho was appointed director of New York University Accra (Ghana), but she continues to supervise postgraduate students’ research and other projects in the University of Ghana’s Department of Linguistics. Her research interests include women’s oral culture in Africa, language and gender, mother tongue education in multilingual Africa, and second-language teaching and learning.
Professor Bienvenu Olory
Dr. Bien Olory is a Fulbright Scholar (also past president of the Benin Humphrey and Fulbright Alumni Association) and serves as chair of Training for Teacher NPT Project 151 at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin. Dr. Olory is also former head of the Office of University Cooperation at Université d’Abomey-Calavi, and he is among key research fellows and lecturers associated with the School of African Heritage, Porto Novo. Dr. Olory is consultant and local coordinator for study abroad programs focusing on the African diaspora, and he is a key member of the planning committee on the biennial International Workshop on Contemporary Problems in Mathematical Physics.
Joseph Adandé, PhD
Dr. Joseph Adandé specializes in African art history at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin. He is also an international expert on museum practices, cultural heritage, and conservation; he is a member of the key faculty at the School of African Heritage, Porto Novo, Benin. His recent essay appeared in the volume, African Art: A Century at the Brooklyn Museum, and he is engaged in several research projects pertaining to the history of art, slavery, and the genetics research project JINUKU (Reseau National pour une Gestion Durable Des Resources Genetiques Point Focal de la Coalition pour la Protection du Patrimoine Genetique Africain [COPAGEN]). Dr Adandé worked extensively as consultant and site coordinator of several African diaspora study abroad programs.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Ghana, Cape Coast
Language Study: Fante
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