TODAY at 4pm Dr. Jennifer Hart, Wayne State University will present on “A New Accra for a Better Ghana?: Lessons on the Limits of ‘Global’ Narratives” at 4 p.m. Monday, April 3 in the Cunningham Memorial Library events area
Web: ghanaonthego.com | Social: @accramobile
Jennifer Hart has been doing research in Accra (Ghana) and London for the last ten years. She interested in the everyday lived experiences of Africans, and the varied ways the mundane of everyday life intersects with 20thcentury liberal ideals (development, citizenship, modernization, democracy, etc.).
Jennifer’s book, Ghana on the Go!: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transportation, traces how different groups of Ghanaians shaped a distinct culture of automobility that reflected both the influence of foreign technological cultures and the socioeconomic priorities of African residents throughout the 20th century. She argues that early African appropriation of motor transportation technology and its subsequent expansion as an important economic sector, both as a niche for African entrepreneurs and as a primary mode of public transportation for both passengers and goods, allowed Africans in the Gold Coast/Ghana to have greater role in defining what autonomy meant and how it was exercised in the 20th century.
Hart is currently developing a digital humanities component of this project, called “Accra Mobile: Mapping Mobility, Culture and History in Contemporary Ghana,” which will provide an interactive online map of the public transport system in Accra, tracing the routes of informal trotros (or mini-buses) and documenting the sights, sounds, and visual and oral histories of Ghana’s transport scene on a publicly-accessible website. Her second project is a social and cultural history of late-colonial and postcolonial Accra. This project uses archival research, material culture, popular culture, and oral histories to trace the ways in which the politics of urban planning and the development of urban culture were influenced by (and influenced) the emergence of the Accra metropolitan area as a center of national and international attention and interaction. Her interest in Africa also extends beyond research. Jennifer is also involved in debates about contemporary African politics and development, as well as religion, music, art, and performance across the continent. [source: http://www.clas.wayne.edu/jennifer-hart4]