General News Tue, 30 Apr 2019

Ghana's Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo to speak at University of Cambridge

Eminent Ghanaian lecturer and activist, Professor Akosua Akosua Ampofo has been invited by the University of Cambridge in England to serve as a keynote speaker at two public lecture events this May.

The renowned academician will first make an appearance at this year's "The Audrey Richards Distinguished Public Lecture in Africa Studies" slated for Thursday, May 2 at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.

Under the theme which is culled from the titles of two music volumes by Mr. Eazi, "Accra to Lagos; Lagos to London"": African Engagements with the Higher Education industry", this lecture looks at how Africans are engaging with higher education, what conversations they bring to the table, what form they take and what they destabilise or even transform both on campuses and the larger "industry" - in teaching and research, publishing, international collaborations, funding and so forth.

What, for example, does "international" mean, what kinds of conversations are held and with whom, and what do these conversations convey about the place of Africa in the larger higher education ecosystem. All these and more will be examined at the public lecture.

The following week, Professor Adomako is expected to address the academic fraternity of Cambridge at the annual lecture of the "Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership", which will take place at the Lecture Room 9, 8 Mill Lane at University of Cambridge.

Prof. AAA, as she is affectionately called, will touch on the topic, "Race-ing the Academy: Acute on Chronic".

The academy has often treated matters of race as acute - say when there are student movements around decolonising the academy, or new waves of migrations - and then soon thereafter there is a return to chronic silences, erasures or misrepresentations.

This talk will illustrate some of the conditions, and suggest why race-ing the academy is important and how people might carry this out.

Born Josephine Akosua Adomako to a Ghanaian father and German mother, the distinguished lecturer is a professor of African and Gender Studies.

She received her BSc in Architecture and MSc in Development Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi; a PG Diploma in Spatial Planning from the University of Dortmund (Germany); and her PhD in Sociology from Vanderbilt University (U.S.A.).

Her teaching, research and activism address issues of African Knowledge systems; Higher education; Identity Politics; Gender relations; and Popular Culture.

She is the President of the African Studies Association of Africa; Immediate past Co-President of the Research Committee on Women and Society of the International Sociological Association and Co-Editor of www.cihablog.com (Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa) - a blog which highlights critical & religious voices who seek to transform the phenomenon of aid to Africa.

From 2010-2015, Professor Adomako was the Director of the Institute of African Studies at University of Ghana (UG) and was also the founding Director of University of Ghana’s Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA).

She has an eclectic mix of academic and civic engagements. At the University of Ghana where she has taught since 1989, she has been a two-time elected member of the University's council.

Coupled with this, she is a member of numerous national/international associations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and boards including the Ghana Domestic Violence Coalition; the Network for Women’s rights in Ghana; the Council for Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); the African Studies Association (ASA).

Mrs. Ampofo has also consulted for organizations such as the Ghana Ministry of Finance; Save the Children; UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNICEF.

In 2014, she became a Mellon Fellow at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

The following year, she became a visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, a position she held at the Concordia University, Irvine, California-USA until May 2016. She had previously been a Junior Fulbright scholar (1994-5) as well as a New Century Fulbright Scholar (2004-2005), and a visiting scholar.

That is not all, "Prof." has been a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS).

As a public intellectual, activist and scholar of great preeminence, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo is frequently invited as a speaker on University campuses and other special occasions around the world.

Source: Eugene Selorm Owusu