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Language, Literature and Drama Section

The Institute of African Studies Language, Literature, and Drama section is composed of Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon (Research Coordinator), Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy, Dr. Edward Nanbigne and Dr. Mercy Akrofi Ansah. Courses are taught on the graduate level, which are based on the research we conduct on African languages. Furthermore, research courses based on African Languages, Literature, and Drama contribute to the fulfilment of the mandate of the Institute of African Studies. Courses currently taught in the section include MPhil courses such as African Literary Traditions, Trends in African Literature, Topics in Oral Literature, Drama in Africa, and Theatre in Africa. PhD courses include African Women Speak, Special Topics in African Oral Literature, African Theatre: The Classical and the Popular, and Critical Perspectives in Performance Theory, and also leads the institutional required course Academic Writing. Additionally, the Language, Literature, and Drama section has new courses on the horizon in less-researched languages and Kemetology as well as in African Literature. These new courses include Connections between Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Contemporary African Languages, African Languages in Development and Practice, Fieldwork for African Languages, Africa and Language Endangerment, Readings in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Intro to Performance Studies, and Children’s Literature in Africa. At the undergraduate level, the section mounts courses such as African Drama, Our African Heritage Through Literature, and Language Proficiency courses Dagbani, Eʋe, Ga and Asante Twi.

Ongoing collaborative/institutional research projects undertaken in our section include “Oral Traditions and Expressive Diversity: A Research, Documentation and Archival Project,” which is an institutional project funded by Mellon that investigates oral narratives: fictional, historical, and sociological. The section also plays a leading role in the “IAS Biographies project,” which documents the lives and times of 7 Outstanding Ghanaian personalities who have excelled immensely in their various fields of endeavour, and contributed in many ways to the development of Ghana. On an individual level, section members are currently working on dozens of projects, for which individual pages on the IAS website can be consulted.

The section currently supervises MPhil students and PhD students, contributing to institutional capacity-building and ensuring that the next generation of African scholars will have a solid foundation in the research areas of their interest(s).

Extension activities led by the section include a study group on Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, the IAS Film Series, and the Black History Month Film Festival.

The Language, Literature, and Drama is a vibrant and exciting part of the Institute of African Studies that welcomes potential students and collaborators to join us in our many African-centred initiatives and endeavours.