A native of Togo, Dr. Abou-Bakar Mamah is an Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and also teaches courses in the Africana Studies major. Dr. Mamah’s research interests include Francophone literature, film, migration, and Africana Studies. Dr, Mamah will be directing the Fall 2024 Ghana semester program, a collaboration between Centre College, Rhodes College, and Sewanee: The University of the South.
Students may choose two of the following three courses, and the last 2 courses are mandatory for ALL students.
INGS 325 Globalization and the Challenges of Development in Ghana taught by Akosua Darkwah Globalization and the Challenges of Development in Ghana explores the multifaceted ways in which globalization manifests itself around the world and examines globalization's complex impacts on Ghanaian citizens and on society as a whole.
Musc 223 The Emergence of "Highlife:" Ghanian Popular Music Highlife music has emerged as one of the most popular world music genres from West Africa in the last century due to the influence of indigenous Ghanaian music heritage juxtaposed with ideas borrowed from the West. This course analyzes the musical varieties within the highlife genre and explores the numerous factors rooted in ethnicity, gender, identity, Pan-Africanism, and generational class relations that have contributed to contemporary understandings of Ghanaian popular music.
Academic Internship and weekly seminar:
Students will attend a weekly seminar in addition to 10+ hours of internship each week. Students will be placed in internship/service-learning assignments at various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), healthcare providers, research institutes, and other local agencies, referred to as ‘attachments’ in Ghana, that are designed to complement the global health and development emphasis of the program, as well as to meet the individual interest of each student. The actual placement of each student will be based on his/her unique academic background, training, skills, and personal interests. The types of attachments available to students are numerous and include areas as diverse as health; environment; family planning; women’s empowerment; new information and communication technologies; agriculture; education; literacy; culture and arts; tourism; politics; economics and business; mass media, and others. Internship duties and responsibilities vary depending on the specific needs of the organization; however, they can include writing, researching, job shadowing, interviewing, advising, teaching, community organizing, mentoring, training, fundraising, photographing, and a variety of other alternatives. The weekly seminar is designed to assist students in working cross-culturally in Accra and to gain the fullest benefit from undertaking an international academic internship. Students will also be given information about ethics, safety, and professionalism in the context of their internship placements. The seminar may include a site visits, weekend field excursions, and day-long community service projects.
Ghana and West Africa’s Pasts in the Black Atlantic*:
The course provides an introduction to slavery in Ghana and West Africa and the Atlantic slave trade out of West Africa. The course uses Ghana as a window to explore the history and material culture of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in West Africa. It combines lectures, class discussions, documentaries, and field trips to sites of enslavement, slave markets and resistance to slavery and student analysis of contemporary sources. Instead of presenting a comprehensive survey, covering every aspect of this vast subject, this course takes a topical approach by focusing on a selection of themes and issues that are crucial to developing an understanding of slavery in Ghana and West Africa and the slave trade across the Atlantic. Themes to be covered include slavery and nation building in West Africa, African and European agency in slavery and slave trade; slavery and slave trade in framing the social structure of Ghana and West Africa; the legacies of slavery in Ghana and West Africa and the ways in which slavery is remembered in Ghana and West Africa. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the debilitating effects of slavery and the slave trade on West Africa and on its development. this has an E2 Tag taught by Kofi Baku. This is a mandatory class for ALL students.
- POLS: Africa in World Politics: A Ghanaian Perspective *(3 credits) - taught by Amy Patterson
This course examines the challenges, successes, and failures of the continent’s political development, with a particular focus on Ghana. It begins by investigating how colonialism and nationalism affected politics, society, and economies. It then examines post-independence governments, democratic transitions, political institutions, and significant political actors. Using the Ghana case, it questions how ethnicity, gender, and religious identities play into these dynamics, and it questions how Ghana has been able to develop a stable democratic system, while many other African countries have experienced authoritarian rule. Expanding beyond domestic politics, the course pays particular attention to the ways that the African Union, ECOWAS, and donor nations shape politics in Ghana. In the process, it links Ghanaian politics and society to diasporic factors and populations. This is a mandatory class for ALL students.
*These two courses are mandatory for all participants. Students will select an additional two courses, or an additional course plus academic internship, for a total of 12 credits.