Christine Oppong

I was very happy to join the first batch of MA students at the Institute when it was opened. I came straight from doing a first degree in Cambridge in Social Anthropology. We felt like pioneers and came from several countries. We were in good company. People went on to all kinds of careers in academia, politics, diplomacy. I took an extra year to complete my studies, as I got married and had a baby in the middle. It was very exciting at the formal opening, when the president came to visit and I was presented to him (quite visibly expectant!). After being awarded a distinction, I was very happy and fortunate to be taken on the Institute's staff as a Research Fellow. I worked at the IAS for thirteen years, then took up a position as Associate Professor at the University of Rhode Island and subsequently worked as a specialist in Gender, Population and Development at the International Labour Office, a UN specialized agency in Geneva, Switzerland. Fortunately there I was able to publish a number of works based on my earlier Ghanaian researches on gender roles and relationships in production and reproduction. After another spell in Rhode Island, this time at Brown University, Population Studies Centre, as a Mellon Fellow, I returned to the Institute, as Professor of Applied Anthropology and we set up a Family Population and Development Unit.

I was very happy indeed to return and have much enjoyed supervising MA and Ph D students once more and reflecting on half a century of Family Studies. The fifty year celebrations are a very emotional event for me, as I have been connected to the Institute from the beginning and have always loved it, even when I left it for some time.

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