Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

The Africa Workshop: Joseph Oduro Frimpong, Ashesi University College, Ghana

Event Details

The Africa Workshop: Joseph Oduro Frimpong, Ashesi University College, Ghana
"Informal Modes of Civic Agency in Africa"
November 23, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
208 Knox Hall

The Africa Workshop features published papers and works in progress.

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This talk, by drawing from various ‘political’ Ghanaian popular media genres, engages with current debates on informal modes of civic agency in Africa. Here, we demonstrate how these formats’ arguments do not constitute a “backstage discourse consisting of what cannot be [articulated] in the face of [political] power” (Scott 1960: xii). Rather, these media formats’ thematic foci form part of the broader democratic practice of ordinary citizens exercising their power to participate in critical discussions that (in-)directly or impact their lives.

Joseph Oduro Frimpong is Assistant Professor in the Dept of Arts and Sciences at Ashesi University and a 2015 African Studies Association ACLS-AHP Presidential Fellow.
He holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and has held teaching positions at Saint Louis University, Missouri and Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville campus). His research investigates Ghanaian popular media (e.g. political cartoons, video-movies, popular music, obituary posters). He is particularly interested in how such tangible formats not only (re)-mediate cultural ideas and beliefs but also engage in socio-political issues. His research appears in the edited volumes: Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media (2011) and Popular Culture in Africa: Episteme of the Everyday (2004). His journal articles appear in International Journal of Communication, and African Studies Review.