Akwaaba!

Our workshop began with introductions at a local restaurant. Everyone was in good spirits and looking forward to the week ahead, though the international visitors were tired from their travels and the Ghanaian participants were equally drained from having rushed around to get everything in order for the workshop.

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As we have all introduced ourselves to each other, allow me now to introduce the participants to you. Below are short profiles of the attendees.

 

Allison Joan Martino, University of Michigan

Allison Joan Martino is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. My research interests include: visual and expressive culture; communication and storytelling; art and social change; politics of display and representation; practices in everyday life and social relationships. My dissertation research examines historical developments in Ghana’s adinkra cloth since the 19th century as an avenue for understanding larger social and cultural shifts in society. In these efforts to study visual and expressive cultures, I follow an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon art history, anthropology, history, and African studies.

 

Andrew W. Gurstelle, University of Michigan

Andrew W. Gurstelle is a PhD candidate in anthropological archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. His research examines the development of political and economic networks in West Africa over the past 2500 years. His current research, directing the Savè Hills Archaeological Research Project, investigates the early history, architecture, and material culture of the Shabe Yoruba kingdom in central Bénin. He has previously conducted research in Ghana, Togo, southern Bénin, and the US Midwest.

 

Brian Stewart, University of Michigan

Brian Stewart is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the archaeology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers in southern Africa, with an emphasis on the evolution of adaptive plasticity. His current project, Adaptations to Marginal Environments in the Middle Stone Age (AMEMSA), investigates early modern human adaptive responses to two challenging landscapes in southern Africa: highland Lesotho and the Namaqualand semi-desert. Both regions have heritage resources that are under serious threat from large-scale development projects, including hydroelectric dams and opencast mines. He has published his research in outlets including Journal of Human Evolution, Quaternary International and South African Archaeological Bulletin.

 

Carla M. Sinopoli, University of Michigan

Carla M. Sinopoli is Professor of Anthropology, Curator of Asian Archaeology, and Director of the Museum Studies Program at the University of Michigan.  She is an anthropological archaeologist, whose research focuses on imperial states and emergent political complexity in Southern India, where she has conducted research on the 14th-16th c CE imperial capital of Vijayanagara.  Her current field project focuses on late prehistoric (Iron Age) to early historic periods in the Tungabhadra River Valley. Sinopoli has published on the archaeology of empires, political economy of craft production, archaeological ceramics, South Asian archaeology, and the history of anthropological collecting in museums.

 

Geoff Emberling, University of Michigan

Geoff Emberling is Assistant Research Scientist in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. As a museum curator and director working with collections from the ancient Middle East and North Africa, he has engaged heritage communities in discussions about presentation of the Nubian and Assyrian past. He currently directs an archaeological project at El Kurru in northern Sudan, the burial site of the Nubian kings who ruled Egypt as its 25th Dynasty. Current funding for this project comes from the government of Qatar and supports both excavation and heritage work—community discussions as well as restoration of monuments

 

Raymond Silverman, University of Michigan

In 2002, Raymond Silverman joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he is Professor of History of Art and African Studies. He served as founding Director of the UM Museum Studies Program from 2002-12. Silverman’s research, writing and exhibitions have examined a variety of subjects concerning the movement of material/visual tradition through time and space in Africa, particularly in Ghana and Ethiopia. Most recently he has been examining the visual cultures of Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia and exploring “museum culture” in Africa, specifically how local knowledge is translated in national and community-based cultural institutions. He recently published an edited volume, Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges (Routledge, 2015).

 

Travis Williams, University of Michigan

Travis Williams is PhD candidate in the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University (2009) and his MA from the University of Oklahoma (2011). He has participated in archaeological research on four continents, on sites spanning less than two centuries in age to those more than three millennia old. Williams’s dissertation research focuses on attempting to find and document material evidence of African-Cherokee ethnogenesis in the early 19th Century. More specifically, he hopes to investigate the domestic spaces of enslaved Africans at a Cherokee plantation in Northwest Georgia (USA). His research interests include: colonialism, American Indians, race and racialization, and the African diaspora.

 

Benjamin W. Kankpeyeng, University of Ghana

Benjamin W. Kankpeyeng is an Associate Professor and the current Head of the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana. He studied at Syracuse University in the United States of America where he obtained an MA and PhD in Anthropology in 1996 and 2003, respectively. Prior to his graduate studies, obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in History with Philosophy from the University of Ghana in 1981. He worked at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board from 1983 to 2004, before joining the Faculty in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana in 2004. His research interests include culture contact studies, archaeology of rituals and religions, public archaeology and heritage studies. His archaeological research projects are linked with the sites of Kpaliworgu, Tongo-Tengzug, Koma Land, Slave trade in northern Ghana.

 

Ciraj Rassool, University of the Western Cape

Ciraj Rassool is professor of history and director of the African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of the Western Cape. He is chairperson of the District Six Museum and has served on the councils of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Iziko Museums of South Africa and the National Heritage Council. He is a member of SAHRA’s Archaeology, Palaeontology, Meteorites, Burial Grounds and Heritage Objects Permit Committee. He is also a member of South Africa’s Human Remains Repatriation Advisory Committee. He has co-authored and co-edited six books about museums, collecting and public culture.

 

Cynthia Kros, University of the Witwatersrand

Cynthia Kros is a historian and heritage specialist who has published in the field of the history of South African education and curriculum development, and more recently in areas pertaining to memory, memorials and monuments. She has also undertaken comparative work on truth commissions and was the co-editor of the South African Historical Journal for several years. In 2010 she published a book based on her PhD dissertation, The Seeds of Separate Development: Origins of Bantu Education. Currently, she is the head of the Division of Arts, Culture and Heritage Management in the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand and leads two research projects, one on the Market Theatre Archive and the other on the theme of ‘repairing the legacies of harm’, focusing on deep histories of injustice and exploitation.

 

David Wilkins, University of Witwatersrand

David Wilkins is a post-doctoral fellow at Wits School of Arts at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His current project with Prof. Cynthia Kros is called ‘Repairing the Legacies of Harm’, exploring how South Africa, in the process of overcoming apartheid has to recognise and repair the legacies of more distant harms, notably slavery. This project builds on ideas from his PhD, ‘Repairing the Legacies of Transatlantic Slavery’ (University of Hull, UK). The thesis argued that revising the history presented by schools and museums could be akin to a reparative process of historical truth telling that could help address the attitudinal and relational legacies of transatlantic slavery.

 

Emmanuel Kwasi Asare (Nana Baffour Asare Twi Brempong II), Social Welfare and Community Development Officer, The Adontenhene of Techiman Traditional Area

Emmanuel Kwasi Asare currently serves two positions: as the Social Welfare and Community Development Officer and as the Adontenhene of Techiman Traditional Area, a position in the chieftaincy institution in Ghana. Both of these positions bring with them responsibilities for ensuring peace, harmony and improving the quality of life for the citizens of Techiman. I have a university diploma in social administration, a degree in psychology and sociology, as well as a postgraduate diploma in museum and heritage studies. I am currently leading an ambitious project to develop Techiman’s first community-focused cultural center that involves working with the many communities that comprise our city’s diverse population.

 

Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo, University of Ghana

Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo is an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, at the University of Ghana, Legon. Her research interest includes Archaeology, Ethnography, Issues of Gender in Archaeology, Indigenous Architecture, Museums and Heritage preservation and presentation. She is a PhD Student in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies researching on the Heritage of the Talensi in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

 

Goodman Gwasira, University of Namibia

Goodman Gwasira worked as a curator of archaeology at the National Museum of Namibia before joining the University of Namibia where he currently lecturers archaeology and heritage studies and early southern African history. He is a Doctoral candidate at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa focusing on the history of archaeology in Namibia. His research interests include emergence of history of archaeology, public archaeology, prehistoric art studies and community participation in archaeological resources management.

 

Henry Nii-Adziri Wellington, University of Ghana

Professor Dr Ing. Henry Nii-Adziri Wellington was born on 1st December, 1942. He is a part-time Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. He teaches Issues in Heritage Management, Exhibition Development and Management and Monument Conservation. Currently, within the context of his study of the Danish Trans Atlantic Slave Trade in Ghana, he is researching on a 19th century historic site in the Accra Plains which served as a haven of refuge for run-away enslaved people, established by an indigenous human rights activist, known as Frederick Noi Dowuona who hailed from the Danish-Osu community. Prof Wellington contributed to the Department’s published Reader (2014), with a chapter section titled: Tangible Cultural Heritage Interpretation and Presentation in Ghana – The case of Christiansborg and Fort Metal Cross (with a colleague: Fritz Biveridge), and contributed to the published anthology on “Fortresses, compounds, and plantations – Danish cultural Heritage shared with Ghana” (2013); and contributed a Paper on “Territoriality, Boundaries and Filters – The Power of Architectural Design in Christiansborg, Osu”(2012). He recently published an epic book titled: “Stones Tell Stories at Osu – Memories of a Host community of the Danish TransAtlantic Slave Trade” (2011) and peer-reviewed the UNESCO sponsored publication on “Ghana, Land of Culture and Tradition – Panaroma of Ghana’s Heritage, Monuments,Sites, treasures and Icons” (2012) authored by Prof James K. Anquandah.

 

Louise Akanlu, University of Ghana

Louise Akanlu is a first year Ph.D. Student in Museums and Heritage Studies in the University of Ghana. She holds a Diploma in Film Directing from the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), a BFA in Theatre Arts with Music from the University of Ghana, Legon, and an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, Philadelphia, on Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Programme. Prior to enrolling in studies for a Ph.D., Louise Akanlu was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts where she taught African-American Theatre, Fundamental of Radio, Television, Film/Video, Play Analysis and Interpretation, and Playwriting to undergraduate students. She was an Assistant Registrar in University Relations at the University for Development Studies (UDS) and an Adjunct Instructor in Film and Media Arts, as well as a Co-Instructor in International Cinema at Temple University. She was also a freelance documentary producer/Director for many years.

 

Mark Horton, University of Bristol

Mark Horton is Professor in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, and has 30 years of experience in African archaeology and heritage – particularly working historical sites with complex architecture. Based in Bristol – one of the key 18th century Atlantic ports, he also has strong interests in the transatlantic slave trade and how its legacies can be understood and interpredeted. Beyond Africa, Mark has global interests, with current and recent projects in the Caribbean, the East coast of America, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Mongolia. He  also works closely with broadcast media and is a regular presenter on history and archaeology topics for the BBC.

 

Nick Shepherd, University of Cape Town

Nick Shepherd is Associate Professor of African Studies and Archaeology at the University of Cape Town, where he convenes the Project on Heritage and Public Culture in Africa. He was founding editor of the journal Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress. In 2004-5 he was based at Harvard University as a Mandela Fellow. In 2008 he was a Visiting Professor at Brown University, and in 2009 at the University of Basel. He has published widely on questions of archaeology and society in Africa, and on questions of public history and heritage. His books include the volume Desire Lines; Space, memory and identity in the postapartheid city (Routledge, 2007), New South African Keywords (Jacana Media and Ohio University Press, 2008), After Ethics: Ancestral voices and postdisciplinary worlds in archaeology (Springer Press, in press), and The Mirror in the Ground: Archaeology, photography and the making of a disciplinary archive (Centre for Curating the Archive, in press).

 

Wazi Apoh, University of Ghana

Dr. Wazi Apoh is an archaeologist with a broad anthropological training. He has a B.A and M.Phil degrees in archaeology from the University of Ghana and a doctoral degree in Anthropology from Binghamton University, NY, USA. His specialty is in the fields of cultural heritage management, contract/salvage archaeology and development anthropology. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana. His current books include “Concise Anthropology: the Five-Field Approach” 2010, Kendall Hunt Publishers, “Germany and Its West African Colonies: “Excavations” of German Colonialism in Post-Colonial times.” 2013. Lit Verlag, Germany. Current Perspectives in the Archaeology of Ghana. 2014. Subsaharan Publishers, Accra.

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