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Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Societies and Cultures

Adomako Ampofo is Professor of African and Gender Studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana (UG).  Adomako Ampofo is President of the African Studies Association of Africa; an honorary Professor at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Birmingham; and a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the immediate past Dean of International Programmes at the University of Ghana, was the foundation Director of the University’s Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (2005-2009) and from 2010-2015 she was Director of the Institute of African Studies. 

Adomako Ampofo considers herself an activist scholar. Her areas of interest include African Knowledge systems; Higher education; Race and Identity Politics; Gender relations; Masculinities; and Popular Culture. In her current work on black masculinities, she explores the shifting nature of identities among young men in Africa and the diaspora. Another project, “An Archive of Activism: Gender and Public History in Postcolonial Ghana” seeks to constitute a publicly accessible archive of, and documentary on gender activism and “political women” in postcolonial Ghana (with Kate Skinner, University of Birmingham; funded by the British Academy). Adomako Ampofo’s recent publications include:

  • Producing Inclusive Feminist Knowledge: Positionalities and Discourses in the Global South. Bingley: Emerald Publishing (forthcoming & Co-edited with Josephine Beoku-Betts).
  • “Young African Men’s Reflections on Negotiating Sexual Intimacy”. In Gabriela M. Torres and Kersti Yllö. (Eds.)  Sexual Violence in Intimacy: Implications for Research and Policy in Global Health. Philadelphia: Routledge (in press).
  • “Re-viewing Studies on Africa, #Black Lives Matter, and Envisioning the Future of African Studies” in African Studies Review (59)2: 7-27 (2016).

Adomako Ampofo is Editor-in-Chief, Contemporary Journal of African Studies and Co-Editor, Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa blog.  She serves on the board of several organisations including the U.S African Studies Association; The Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria; Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, University of Bayreuth of which she is Chairperson; Perivoli Africa Research Centre, University of Bristol; Institute for Humanities in Africa, HUMA, University of Cape Town.  Adomako Ampofo’s work has been variously recognized; She has been a Junior Fulbright Scholar; a New Century Fulbright Scholar and a Senior Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. In 2010 she was awarded the Feminist Activism Award by Sociologists for Women and Society (SWS).

Follow her on twitter: @adomakoampofo





Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Master of Science, Development Planning & Management

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi

Post-graduate Diploma, Regional and Spatial Planning

University of Dortmund, Dortmund

Bachelor of Science, Architectural Design

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Research Interest
  • African Knowledge Systems
  • African Higher Education
  • Democracy and Social Justice
  • Gender Systems
  • Masculinities
  • Popular Culture
  • Race & Identity Politics
  • Reproductive Health and Sexualities
  • Women’s work


  • African Knowledge Systems and decolonizing the academy
  • Black youth Masculinities in Africa and the Diaspora (Ghana, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, US)
Recent Publications

Awedoba, Albert, Jacob Gordon, Esi Sutherland-Addy and Akosua Adomako Ampofo (Eds.)  2017. Revisiting African Studies in a Globalised World: International Conference on African Studies. 2017. Accra: Smartline/Institute of African Studies.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. 2017. “Sitting on a Man: Forty Years Later.” Journal of West African History (3)2: 146-155.

Anyidoho, Nana Akua and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. 2017. “Informalising the formal: The conditions of female agency workers in Ghana’s banking sector” Contemporary Journal of African Studies 4(2):67-92 ·

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. 2016. “Re-viewing Studies on Africa, #Black Lives Matter, and Envisioning the Future of African Studies” African Studies Review (59)2: 7-27.

Atobrah, Deborah and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. 2016. “Expressions of Masculinity and Femininity in Husbands’ Care of Wives with Cancer in Accra” African Studies Review (59)1: 175-197.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. 2016. “An Open Letter to the ESA: A Response” Czech Sociological Review 52 (3): 428-431.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. 2015. “Tribute to Ivor Wilks” Ghana Studies 18: 183-187.

Kyere, Abena and Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. 2015. “Women doing Music: The Lives and Songs of Contemporary Ghanaian Women Musicians ” in Kwasi Ampene, Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Albert Awedoba, and Godwin K. Adjei (Eds.) A Festschrift in honour of Emeritus Profesor J.H Kwabena Nketia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 374-393.

Rodriguez Cheryl, Dzodzi Tsikata and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. 2015. “Collaborative Traditions and Transcontinental Connections” in Cheryl Rodriguez, Dzodzi Tsikata and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. (Eds.) Transatlantic Feminisms: Women’s and Gender Studies in Africa and the Diaspora. Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, vii-xxi.

Anyidoho, Nana Akua and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. 2015. “’How can I come to work on Saturday when I have a family?’ Ghanaian Women and Bank Work in a Neo-Liberal Era” in Cheryl Rodriguez, Dzodzi Tsikata and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. Collaborative Traditions and Transcontinental Connections (Eds.) Transatlantic Feminisms: Women’s and Gender Studies in Africa and the Diaspora. Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 297-318.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua, Edwin Adjei and Maame Kyerewaa Brobbey. 2015. “Feminisms and Acculturation around the Globe”. In James Wright et al. (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevier: 905–911.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua and Michael PK Okyerefo. 2014. “Men of God and Gendered Knowledge” in Brenda Cooper and Robert Morrell (Eds.) Africa-Centred Knowledges: Crossing Fields and Worlds. Oxford: James Currey, 163-178.

Yeboah, Abena. A., Akosua Adomako Ampofo, and Maame Kyerewa Brobbey. 2014. “Women's and Gender Studies in Ghana”. In S. Agyei-Mensah, J. A. Ayee, & A. D. Oduro (Eds.), Changing Perspectives on the Social Sciences in Ghana. Dordrecht: Springer, 285-312.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua and Michael PK Okyerefo. 2014. “Neo-popular Femininity Discourse in God’s name: Ambivalent Masculinity Rhetoric” in Stephen Acheampong (Ed.), African Knowledge Studies and Knowledge Production. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 125-144.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua. “An Introduction to Gender in Africa.” 2014. In Manuh, Takyiwaa and Esi Sutherland-Addy (Eds.) Africa in Contemporary Perspective. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 94-115.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua and Awo Asiedu. 2012. “Popular Music And Women’s Citizenship: A Look At Ghanaian Song Lyrics.” In Faraclas, Nicholas, Ronald Severing, Christa Weijer and Elisabeth Echteld (Eds.) Multiple Cultures and Citizenships. Aruba: 107-126.

Asiedu, Awo and Akosua Adomako Ampofo. 2012. “Towards Alternative Representations of Women in African Cultural Products” in Adams, Ann (Ed.) Essays In Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70; A Reader in African Cultural Studies. Oxfordshire: Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd., 219-230.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua and John Boateng. 2011. “Understanding Masculinities, Empowering Women: What have Boys in Ghana got to do with it?’ In Tamale, Sylvia (Ed.) African Sexualities, A Reader. Cape Town: Pambazuka Press, 420-627.

Adomako Ampofo, Akosua and Awo Asiedu. 2012. “Changing Representations of Women in Ghanaian Popular music: Marrying research and advocacy” Current Sociology (60): 258-279. *republished in Feminisms, Empowerment and Development: Changing Women’s Lives, Edited by Andrea Cornwall and Jenny Edwards. 2014. London, Zed books: 41-158.



Keynote speaker, “Foretelling our Futures: deleting Silences and Restoring our Stories”, 4th NEST International Conference, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, March 23.


"Who are we and whose are we? Identity and Transforming the Nation?”, Inaugural lecture Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, August 25.

“Whose Africa? Re-presenting the Self, Re-telling our Stories”, Closing Keynote, 35th International Visual Sociology Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, June 22.

Keynote Speaker, “Invigorating the Academy: Appropriating Traditions, Strengthening Collaborations and Connecting Globally”, Women Advancement Forum International Research and Academia (WAFIRA) Forum 2017, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, March 28.

Special Invited lecturer, “Black=African Lives Matter and Decolonizing the Academy” Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, January 19.


“Institutionalizing Gender at the University of Ghana: Foremother and Resistance Journeys”, presented at the CEGENSA International Conference in honour of Takyiwaa Manuh, University of Ghana, Legon, October 26
“The Africa we want and an African-centered Approach to Knowledge Production”, Closing keynote Plenary Speaker at the Third International Sociological Association’s Forum of Sociology, Vienna, July 14.
“Does a bullet know a Christian from a Muslim? Fear, Love and Healing in our Multicultural World”, Concordia University Convocation lecture, Irvine, April 4.

Special invited lecturer, “Global Learning, Globalization, and Justice in Africa: Sharing our Humanity”, Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, March 31.

Keynote speaker, “African-centred Knowledge and the Politics of Knowledge Production”, University of Florida, Gainesville, March 25.

Keynote speaker, “Globalization, Justice in Africa and Sharing our Humanity”, George Washington University, Washington, March 1.

Special guest speaker, “Re-viewing Studies on Africa and Envisioning our Futures” Howard University, Washington, February 29.


Distinguished African Studies Review lecturer, “Re-viewing Studies on Africa: Black Lives Matter and Envisioning our Futures”, presented at the 2015 Annual Meetings of the African Studies Association, San Diego, November 20.

MA in International Studies: Africa (MAIS) Inaugural lecture, “Globalization, Justice in Africa: Sharing our Humanity”, Concordia University, Irvine, November 6.

Keynote Speaker at the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC)
 Conference on Negotiating Global Feminisms: Creating New Academic Collaborations
 Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, May 8-10, 2015.

Keynote speaker, Whose Unmet Need (for contraception)? Deconstructing Received Concepts”, presented at the First Annual African Conference at Lehigh University under the theme Africa in the 21st Century: Heritage, health and Sustainability, Bethlehem, November 19.


Speaker, “Ubuntu: Strategies for a People-centered African Renaissance”, OAU/AU@50 High level African Forum; Accra, August 3.

Keynote address, “Who Is The Next Generation Scholar In Africa?” presented at the Next Generation of Scholars SSRC/IAS Workshop at the University of Ghana, Legon, July 2.

Keynote speaker at the Awards and Recognition Day, Merton International High School; “Educating Today's student for tomorrow’s world”; Accra, June 28.

Professorial Inaugural lecture, “The Driver and the Mate: Gender Politics in Africa and Social Transformation”; University of Ghana; Legon, February 28.


SWS Feminist Activist Award Lecture, “Responding to Violence: Local Activism in a Global Context”; University of Wichita and Monmouth University; November 11-15 (2010 SWS Feminist Activist Awardee).

Keynote Speaker, Forum on Democracy, “Putting Our House in Order for a peaceful Election 2012: Religious Organizations and Civil Society in the Conduct of Peaceful Elections”; organised by the Department of Ecumenical and Social Relations, Presbyterian church of Ghana; Accra, November 8.

Special Invited Speaker, “Vice-Chancellor’s Palaver: 50 Years of Generating Knowledge at The Hill: Re-positioning the University of Dar es Salaam as a Pan-African University”, Third Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week, University Of Dar Es Salaam; April 14.

Keynote Speaker on the Forum on Democracy organised by the Department of Ecumenical and Social Relations, Presbyterian Church of Ghana: “How can Ghana’s Democracy be Sustained Without Violence, Vengeance, Vindictiveness, Malice and Insults?” Accra; March 27.


Sociologists for Women and Society 2010 Feminist Activism Lecture “Doing And Undoing Gender: African Voices Inside And Outside The Academy”,; Atlanta, August 15. * also presented at the Bergen Resource Centre for International Development; Bergen, May 19, 2011.

Keynote Speaker at the SOS Herman Gmeiner 2010 Speech Day; “Knowledge in the Service of Africa: Planning to be change agents”; Tema, June 12.


 “Back to the Root: Agriculture and the Small Scale Farmer in Ghana”, presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Chicago, November 18 (with Yaa Oparebea Ampofo).

“A Man Doesn’t Carry a Woman’s Handbag: Men of God and the Place of Women” presented at the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) 2nd Biennial Conference, University of Ghana, Legon, October 13. (And earlier in the Panel on “Defining Duty: Religiosity, Ethnic Diversity and Family Law”, Cadbury Conference on Marriage in Africa, University of Birmingham, June 1).

Participant and rapporteur at the Inaugural meeting of the AHP Project on Mentorship, Makerere University, June 13-15.

“The changing face of Feminism: Millennials in Ghana”, presented at the Women in Africa and the Mediterranean Conference, African Feminist Initiative, Fez, Morocco, May 5-7.


“Honouring Elaine Salo: The African Feminist Forum and Gandhi for come down!” 2016 AfricaNow! Session at the 59th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Washington, December 3.

“Christian Feminists and Anti-Hegemony Work: Unpacking Discourses”, presented at the Conference on Feminisms Beyond the Secular, Lehigh University, March 21.


Member, panel on the Women’s caucus of the African Studies Association on the history of the Women’s Caucus, panellist 58th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, San Diego, November 19.

 “Mɛ san aba: Culture, Identity and Sharing”, The Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa Blog: A look at Humanitarianism through Multicultural Eyes: the First International Conference of the African Studies Association of Africa, ASAA, Ibadan, October 16.


“Demanding Democracy Without, Championing Democracy Within: Public and Not-so-Public Protests at UG”, 57th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Indianapolis, November 20 (with Richard Asante).

“Digital Archiving at the Institute of African Studies”, University of Michigan Workshop on African Studies in the Digital Age, Ann Arbor, November 17 (with Judith Opoku-Boateng).

Panelist, “Theory from the South, Revisited”, at the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes’ Special Meeting on African Humanities, Stellenbosch, October 20.

Panelist at the workshop on “Alternatives to Development? Operationalizing, Theorizing and Comparing Post-Development Concepts and Practices”, the University of Kassel, in Germany on October 2.

Panelist, “The Next 40 Years and Beyond: African Futures and the New Frontiers for Social Science Research and Knowledge Production in Africa” at the CODESRIA 40th Anniversary Conference on the Theme: Building on 40 Years of Research and Knowledge Production for Africa, Dakar, June 11.

“Holding African States to Task on Gender and Violence: Domesticating UNSCR 1325 through National Action Plans and NGO Advocacy”, International Sociological Association Congress; Yokohama, July 13-17 (with Josephine Beoku-Betts and Njoki Wamai).


My children are not raced! My children are Ghanaian. Trans-national mothering in Ghana” presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Baltimore, November 20-24.

“Institutionalising Gender as a Field within African Studies: The University of Ghana Experience” (with Maame Kyerewaa Brobbey and Patience Addo), presented at the 50TH Anniversary Celebration International Conference on African Studies, Under The Theme: “Revisiting The First International Congress Of Africanists In A Globalised World”; University Of Ghana, Legon, October 25.

“Development and Gender Inequality: Evaluation’s Call to Action”, AGDEN Panel on Evaluation Strategies for Reducing Gender Inequality: The AGDEN Approach” presented at the 2013 Global Assembly on Evaluation and Inequality: Moving Beyond the Discussion of Poverty, of the International Development Evaluation Association, IDEAS; Barbados, May 7-9.


“Of Woyome, Azonto, Youth Pop Culture and Citizenship” presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Philadelphia, November 28-December 1.


“Women's Work in the Banking Sectors in Ghana: Informalising the Formal” Ghana Studies Council Panel on The Changing Nature of Work in Ghana: What prospects for decent work in the next fifty years? Presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Washington, November 18 (with Nana Akua Anyidoho).

“Do Women Do Music The Same Way As Men Do? Ghanaian Women Musicians, Their Songs And Their Relationship With The Industry”; International African Studies Conference in honour of Emeritus Profesor J.H Kwabena Nketia; Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana-Legon, September 23. (With Abena Kyere and Awo Asiedu).


“What Is Sexual Harassment? Responses From Women Students at The University of Ghana”, presented at the 17th International Sociological Association World Congress, Gothenburg, 11-17 July (with Fidelia Ohemeng and Akosua Darkwa).

“Pathways to an Empowering Song: Marrying research and Advocacy”, presented to the Crossroads for Cultural Studies Conference, Hong Kong, June 17-22 (with Awo Asiedu).

Teaching and Supervision


  • Gender and Culture in Africa
  • Introduction to African Studies
  • Issues in Population & Development in Africa
  • Gender and Development in Africa


  • Culture and Gender in African Societies
  • Gender and Development in African Societies
  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Research Methods


Masters & Ph.D Theses supervised: 48
Current PhD thesis supervision: 5



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'Alternative' Female Genital Cutting Discourses? A Study of the Maasai of Kajiado, Kenya

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Violence in African Young Adult Fiction

Abena Kyere

For God and Man: A Study of the Clergy-wife

Nana Aba Boadu

Construction of Masculinities and Health Seeking Behavior of Male Health Workers in Accra.
Dzirgbenyuie Yawa Asafo Cultural Constructions of Child Sexual Abuse:A Study of the Teshie Municipality.
Titilope Ajayi Through African Eyes: Bring Back Our Girls and the Politics of Transnational Activism