Photo: Image 2016: Flickr. (Photo: Toon van Dijk.) CC BY-ND 2.0.

Interdisciplinary Initiatives

Photo for Living in Limbo: The African...

Living in Limbo: The African Refugees Documentation Project

African refugees and displaced persons have grown dramatically over the last two decades, representing crises of governance, global warming, and infrastructural deterioration throughout the continent. Increasingly, these camps are shifting from temporary holding centers providing vital shelter and subsistence services to semi-permanent communities where people live their lives and pursue their careers. The goal of this project is to analyze refugee communities in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda in ways that identify African initiatives that create opportunities for growth and sustainable incentives for resettlement, reintegration and repatriation.

Photo for Ritual Histories of Ghana

Ritual Histories of Ghana's Slave Forts and Castles, 1482-2022

Given the monumental significance of Ghana's slave forts and castles during the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, they remain surprisingly understudied. Apart from Elmina and Cape Coast “Castles” and Fort Christiansbourg in Accra, the lesser forts along West Africa's historic Gold Coast are overlooked and even neglected as landmarks of “the African trade.” Our goal is to conduct a systematic survey that locates these forts within Afro-European “conjunctures” that linked hinterland captives to overseas markets. Partnering with students and faculty from the University of Ghana, Legon, and the University of Cape Coast, we will conduct archival research, excavations, and collect oral histories and ethnographic data on shrines, rituals, deities and dungeons associated with these monumental sites of human commodification. By studying these sites of Atlantic slavery in Ghana we highlight the African parameters of early modern capitalism and rethink the standard narrative of its historical development.