Making “the case for colonialism” in Ghanaian social studies textbooks

By using "The Case for Colonialism" as a point of departure to discuss Ghanaian school curriculum, my intention is not to overlook the very real problematics of the article, nor to suggest that Gilley's argument is exceptional (it is not). Rather, I believe the quick lining up of for/against overlooks the need to interrogate the very real ways in which colonial legacies exist within, and mark, every day life.

On Farmers as “Very Difficult People”

The Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture resigned today after calling northern Ghanaian farmers "liars," "very difficult people," and accusing them of extortion. Many were understandably, and rightfully, upset at the Deputy Minister's comments, but I argue that his comments, though vile, are not exceptional. During fieldwork, I regularly encountered super negative discourse about Ghanaian farmers from technocrats in Accra. In this blog post, I share some of these encounters, and muse about their importance.

On tech, representation, and African agriculture

There is a way in which popular media and development literature presents Africa, and Africans, as paralyzed by modernity, at a standstill: young people leaving agriculture and going to cities, inequalities rising, cities exploding, changing tastes via KFC and packaged noodles like Indomie. The flicker of hope du jour is tech, and writers, especially when discussing agriculture, often cite high … Continue reading On tech, representation, and African agriculture

No One Seems Concerned

I was recently telling a friend about our brave, tiny outdoor cats who run up trees and sneak out the bamboo fence, and how no one seemed concerned about their wanderings. My friend remarked that "no one seems concerned" would be a good title for a blog about cross cultural communication (her field). Or anthropology, I … Continue reading No One Seems Concerned

Some thoughts on the US militarized response to the ebola crisis

Last week I published a follow-up to my May article on militarized humanitarianism in Africa. Since its original publication in Foreign Policy in Focus, the piece has been republished in The Nation, AllAfrica, TruthOut, AntiWar.com, Common Dreams and InterPress Service News Agency. Six months into West Africa’s Ebola crisis, the international community is finally heading … Continue reading Some thoughts on the US militarized response to the ebola crisis