Sharing findings with different audiences
A few weeks ago, Rachel Schurman and I published The Complex Choreography of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Africa in the journal African Affairs. In the article, we surveyed nearly 30 years of strategic and well-funded efforts by donors to bring GMOs to Africa. These efforts, we contend, have so far yielded very little. How come? We argue that…
Public talk @ UC Berkeley March 10
I’m very excited to be giving a talk at UC Berkeley next month on genetically modified crops, sustainability, and qualitative research methods.
Recipient of the 2019 Boahen-Wilks Prize
Happy to share that my article, “We Are Not Starving: Challenging Genetically Modified Seeds and Development in Ghana” received the 2019 Boahen-Wilks Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Article in Ghana Studies.
The Fight for the Future of Food
On October 23, 2019, the University of San Francisco hosted five leading African food sovereignty activists for a night of discussion, food, and networking. We were fortunate to hear from Victoria Adongo (Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana), Mariam Bassey-Orovwuje (Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa), Dr. Million Belay (Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa), Mariam…
Encountering Food in the Field, Centering it in Development Studies
Why aren’t rich and tasty food cultures more central to development efforts?
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…
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…
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…
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…
Temporary Injunction on GM Rice and Cowpea Overturned in Ghana
A ruling in Ghana’s High Court Thursday morning overturned a temporary injunction on the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) rice and cowpea.