I’m excited to announce that I will be defending my dissertation on December 1st, 2017. The defense is open to the public, and if you’ll be in DC and would like to attend, please send me a message and I’ll relay the details to you. My abstract is below:
We Are Not Starving: GMOs and Ghanaian Food Sovereignty Advocacy in the Age of the African Green Revolution
Across Africa, projects organized under the African Green Revolution seek to introduce genetically modified (GM) seeds into African markets to increase crop yields. This dissertation examines controversy surrounding the commercialization of GM crops in Ghana with a focus on international and Ghanaian officials working on GM projects, a social movement opposing those projects, and farmers caught in the middle. In particular, the dissertation shows; 1) how U.S. development policy is tied to the upswing of interest in biotechnology in Africa; 2) how scientists and activists are bonded by a mutual dissatisfaction with donor influence in state-making, and; 3) how, after years of un-development, farmers are skeptical of donor projects and technologies that require intensive capital, raising questions over future adoption of GM seeds.
By showing the local articulations of a global technology, this dissertation demonstrates how state sovereignty, citizenship, food and agriculture are intimately tied, and troubles popular narratives of Africans as passive recipients of aid and victims of modernity.