Research

 
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My research examines the effects of local taste practices on broader-scale economic and social relationships during the period of ‘legitimate’ trade in Amedeka (southeastern Ghana). ‘Legitimate’ trade is the period of commercial transition from the Atlantic slave trade to commodity trade in nineteenth century West Africa. This period was marked by vibrant economic exchanges between African societies and overseas markets, culminating in the emergence of African consumer societies. My work will demonstrate how people ascribed local notions of taste onto trade commodities and how these commodities were incorporated into and consumed in different social contexts within Amedeka. Through the analyses of archaeological materials excavated from three sites in Amedeka, combined with multidisciplinary analytic approaches, my work highlights the transformations in local consumption practices by tracking and following the movement of commodities and how people incorporate different artifact classes into different social contexts. African consumers were highly selective of European imported commodities. Tacking back and forth between the archaeological data and multidisciplinary approaches will help broaden our understanding of factors that determined exchange networks and socio-cultural preferences that shaped Africans’ demand for certain commodities over others. By engaging in these conscious and sometimes unconscious acts of consumption, local people, often those located in hinterland communities, shaped manufacturing and production in regional and overseas (global) markets. In sum, research questions the different historical conditions that continue to affect Africa’s representation in the world economies.

Generous fellowships from Northwestern University, the Social Science Research Council’s Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center Pre-doctoral Award support my research. I have presented my work at the African Seminar Annual Conference (2018), the Society of American Archaeology Conference (2018), the congress PanAfrican Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies (2018), and the Society of Africanist Archaeologists Conference (2018; 2020-canceled due to COVID-19).

 
 
Research Skills

ARCHAEOBOTANY

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ARCHAEOMETRY

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CERAMIC ANALYSIS

Interdisciplinary Research

HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

AFRICAN STUDIES

ETHNO -
ARCHAEOLOGY

BLACK STUDIES

 

Papers Presented

 
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 Negotiating shifts in local productions and   social life during ‘legitimate’ trade in   Amedeka, Ghana (AD 1807-1900)  

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 The Relationship between Land use   Dynamics and Foodways in Amedeka,   Eastern-Ghana

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 Foodscapes as Gendered Taskscapes in   West Africa  

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 Foodways in Atlantic Era West Africa –   Ghana: Towards an Archaeology of Daily   Life  

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 Engendering Food Acquisition Practices:   Rethinking Everyday Life in Ghana - An   Ethnographic Case of Amedeka  

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  Foodways in Ghana-Amedeka  

 
Research Affiliations
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Co-coordinator

African Seminar

Northwestern University

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Founding Member

Diversity Committee

Anthropology Graduate Student Association

Northwestern University

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Member

Society of Africanist Archaeologists

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Member

African Studies Association

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Member

Society for American Archaeology

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Spices in Moroccan Market

Research Awards

Papers Presented

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2020

The Black Trowel Collective Microgrants

2019

Program of African Studies Morris Goodman Award

2018

Buffett Institute Graduate Students Conference Travel Award

2017

Program of African Studies Panofsky Research Grant

2017

Buffet Institute Graduate Students Dissertation Research Award

2020

SSRC Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship

2018

Program of African Studies Morris Goodman Award

2018

Program of African Studies Conference Travel Award

2017

Program of African Studies Morris Goodman Award

2016-Present

The Graduate School Fellowship

2020-2021

University of Missouri Research Reactor Center NSF Pre-Doctoral Internship Award

2018

Program of African Studies Panofsky Research Grant

2018

Department of Anthropology, Graduate Conference Travel Award

2017

LeCron Foster and Friends of Anthropology Research Grant

2014-2016

Erasmus Mundus Master EACEA Fellowship