Conference: Identity, Development, and Infrastructures: Historical characteristics of Northern Ghana in past and present

Dagomba chief, © Jan Banning for Noorderlicht Photography

This conference is organised by the research and documentation project Society and Change in Northern Ghana: Dagomba, Gonja, and the Regional Perspective on Ghanaian History, African Studies Centre, Leiden University, with Noorderlicht Photography Groningen, under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A plethora of literature exists on historical and contemporary connections between identity, development, and infrastructures in Ghana. However, a brief overview of the literature points towards several major gaps that show in the existing research on Northern Ghana. The north has not received the same attention as the south, more so there is no systematic comparative research on inter-ethnic relations in Northern Ghana, while the historiography of north-south interactions is thin. Furthermore, research about the north has shielded away from interdisciplinary approaches.

The conference attempts to address this gap both by connecting existing bodies of knowledge in new ways and by advancing into uncharted territory. The conference is part of the comprehensive research and documentation project Society and Change in Northern Ghana: Dagomba, Gonja, and the Regional Perspective on Ghanaian History, in which the African Studies Centre Leiden, Institute of African Studies at Legon, and the University for Development Studies in Tamale and Wa collaborate. In the conference PhD students and senior scholars are brought together to develop new views and perspectives on the Northern Ghanaian past and present. The PhD students attached to the project show the actual state of affairs of their individual projects and give attention to the connections of their projects to the wider objectives of the programme.

The objective of the conference is to generate knowledge on the north and to integrate such knowledge into the wider methodological and theoretical perspectives from different disciplines, such as history, anthropology, political science, economics, and religion. Besides, we try to visualise these academic perspectives in both artistic and documentary ways through a photo project run by Noorderlicht Photography in Groningen, in close collaboration with the academic project.

Dr. Samuel Ntewusu, University of Ghana and KNAW Visiting Professor African Studies Centre, Leiden University
Dr. Michel R. Doortmont, FRGS, African Studies Centre, Leiden University
Dr. Felix Longi, University for Development Studies

Take a look at the Saturday programme.
This 2-day conference is only open to the general public on Saturday 10 December.

Date, time and location

10 December 2016
Hampshire Hotel - Fitland Leiden, Bargelaan 180, Leiden (1-minute walk from Leiden CS)
Jan Steenzaal, Meeting Center 1st floor