Research

 
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My research examines the effects of local tastes on broader-scale economic and social relationships during the period of ‘legitimate’ trade in Amedeka, southeastern Ghana. Africanist historians have described ‘legitimate’ trade as the socio-economic activities that developed after the British abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1807. Post-1807, a decline in the exportation of enslaved Africans caused an economic vacuum. To replace the vacuum, the British pushed for the exploitation of so-called legitimate tropical trade goods such as palm oil, groundnuts, rubber, and timber. However, the demand for labor within West Africa to produce these legitimate goods led to an increase in internal slavery and a prolonged abolition of slavery in West Africa.

My work contributes to the methodology of alternative histories of global entanglement. This methodology considers the interests of historically underrepresented groups by bringing together archaeological methods, anthropological theories, and historical data in conversation with deeply layered indigenous knowledge and memories in the making of the Atlantic world.

Through ongoing analyses of archaeological materials excavated from three sites in southeastern Ghana, combined with multidisciplinary analytic approaches, I highlight 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. Contrary to common accounts about Africans as passive and indiscriminate consumers of imported goods, archaeological data from the southeastern region of Ghana suggest that local consumers were highly discriminative consumers of imported and regionally produced commodities. My work tacks back and forth between the archaeological data and multidisciplinary approaches to centralize local consumers in the narratives of global encounters. In sum, I ask questions that highlight 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 Pan African 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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Nkudzedze: Africanizing  Tastes & Consumer Power during 'Legitimate' Trade in Ghana, Amedeka  

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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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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

2016-2022

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