We Gained Firsthand Experience in Ghana.
Literature and Culture in Postcolonial Ghana, an interdisciplinary course, allowed students to earn four credits while exploring the cultures of Ghana and reconsidering Ghanaian culture through the presentation of its literary heritage.
Alejandro Fernandez Gutierrez '13M
(top row, second from right) I had always dreamed of going to Africa. So when I found Dr. Kalenda Eaton’s ID course, Literature and Culture in Postcolonial Ghana, I knew I must be a part of it. As an Afro-Bolivian, the experience was so important to my life and to my identity.
One of the highlights of the experience was interacting with traditional craftspeople in the Ashanti Craft Village of Ntonso near Kumasi, Ghana. As a class we learned about the process of making ink out of tree bark, learned about traditional Adinkra symbols and used the ink to stamp a piece of cloth. My classmates and I chose the symbols for greatness, good fortune and endurance to represent Arcadia. The final product was purchased by our tour guide and donated to the University as a sign of appreciation.
Kalenda Eaton Ph.D.
The importance for me is not only the exposure to other cultures, which can be life-changing, but also the critical thinking that takes place in the classroom and on the ground. And one of the most direct ways to engage students in critical thinking and discussion is to expose them to the world beyond national boundaries as well as the ‘worlds’ just around the corner.
Throughout the semester, we pay particular attention to writings and films that explore the diversity of the Ghana in relationship to the larger continent and the African Diaspora. We also think critically about developments in literature and customs in different generational contexts. The goal of the course is to reconsider our understanding of Ghanaian culture through the presentation of its literary heritage.