Research

My research examines changing agricultural and development landscapes in Ghana and the actors who seek to shape them.


Dissertation Abstract: 
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.


A day in the life of dissertation research looked something like this.

My dissertation research was generously funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation (Dissertation Fieldwork Grant), Fulbright-Hays Program (Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship), American University (Office of Graduate Studies Doctoral Student Research Award), and Explorers Club Washington Group (Exploration and Field Research Grant).

See a list of my publications here.