|Programs > Summer Programs > Ghana|
Note: This program is no longer scheduled to run in 2012 but is expected to be offered in future summers.
The program is intended to investigate aspects of the historical, literary and artistic bases of West African civilization. It offers a special opportunity for all students interested in classical and contemporary African history, politics, literature, music, dance and theater to learn about these subjects through academic study and personal cultural experiences. The program is based at the University of Ghana, Legon-Accra.
The courses are taught by Dr. Abu Shardow Abarry, associate professor of African American Studies at Temple University, and coordinated by local faculty at the University of Ghana. Courses are supplemented by lectures given by faculty members from the University of Ghana in Legon, the University of Cape Coast and the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. These three Ghanaian universities are among the most reputable higher education institutions in West Africa.
The Republic of Ghana, roughly equivalent to Oregon in size, lies almost in the center of the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea. To the east lies Togo, beyond which are Benin and Nigeria. On the west is Cote d’Ivoire, and to the north, Burkina Faso. Ghana’s coastline on the south stretches for a distance of about 560 kilometers. Mountains are few, but there are several hills that rise to a maximum of 900 meters. These include the Akwapim-Togo ranges that extend from Pokoasi, a few kilometers north of Accra. Formerly a British colony, Ghana attained independence on March 6, 1957 and became a republic within the British Commonwealth on July 1, 1960. Although English is the official and commercial language, several African languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana, including Twi, Fanti, Ga, Ewe, Dagbani, Hausa, Gonja and Nzima.
Since the attainment of its independence, when the Gold Coast became Ghana, efforts have always been made to preserve the country’s rich cultural history and traditional institutions, which can be traced to the ancient Ghana Empire. For this reason, the institutions of chieftaincy and the ceremonies attached to it are kept very much alive. Various ethnic groups hold traditional festivals periodically that include drumming, singing and dancing. Traditional crafts include kente and adinkra, wood carving, brass and bronze carving, and pottery. In addition to a rich oral literary tradition which features tales, legends, proverbs and songs, Ghana has a corps of talented novelists, poets and dramatists such as Kofi Awoonor (formerly Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations), Ayi Kwei Armah, Attuwei Okai, Kofi Aniyidoho, Ama Ata Aidoo, Efua Sutherland and Mohamed Ben Abdallah, who have made significant contributions to world literature.
Accra is Ghana’s capital and largest city. Originally a small fishing village, Accra became the capital of the Gold Coast in 1877. Probably because of its 300-year contact with the European world, the city was the first to develop foreign business offices, hospitals and schools. Luxury items arrived at Accra’s docksides before being transported on to other colonial towns. Modern Accra, with a population of about one million, is the key city for all of the nation’s governmental and business activities. Major roads, airlines, railways, buses and ocean liners serve the capital, connecting it to most other large cities in Ghana, such as Cape Coast, Takoradi, Kumasi, Keta, Wenchi and Tamale. Merging with several other coastal towns, Accra has developed into the Accra-Tema metropolis, forming the country’s chief commercial, industrial and transportation center. The indigenes of this area and their language are called Ga. Dr. Abarry, the program director, is a native of Accra.
Undergraduates enroll in two courses, African American Studies 4115: African Aesthetics (3 cr) and African American Studies 2100: Special Topics: African Civilization (3 cr), for a total of six credits.
Graduate students enroll in two courses, African American Studies 8007: African Aesthetics (3 cr) and African American Studies 8002: African Civilization (3 cr), for a total of six credits.
Students who have already taken these courses or have special needs due to their major/disciplinary requirements may discuss the possibility of an independent study with the program director prior to applying to the program.
The first course, African Aesthetics, seeks to explore the philosophical, cultural and aesthetic expressions of African peoples on the continent, and their impact on the communities and artistic expressions of Africans in the United States and the Caribbean. Readings from textbooks are augmented with lectures, observation and participation in traditional and contemporary theater and other artistic performances such as oratory, singing, music and dance, as well as the arts and crafts of kente cloth weaving, carving and batik.
The second course, African Civilization, provides an intensive investigation of the origins of several major African civilizations from ancient to contemporary times. Emphasis is placed on the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai, the transatlantic slave trade, the colonial impact, independence and contemporary Ghana.
Throughout the program students are introduced to and encouraged to speak Twi and Ga, two of the most popular languages in Ghana.
Weekly field visits led by faculty to important historical monuments, cultural sites and commercial enterprises in Ghana enrich the academic program.
Students have access to the University of Ghana’s Balme Library, the special library of the Institute of African Studies, the DuBois Center and the Padmore Research Library, as well as the United States Information Services and the British Council Libraries.
Temple undergraduate students who successfully complete this program automatically satisfy the World Society (GG) requirement of GenEd.
The program director, Dr. Abu Shardow Abarry, associate professor in Temple’s
Students have the opportunity to visit such historic and cultural sites as the ancient slave castles at Cape Coast and Elmina; Akosombo (the world’s largest man-made lake) and Lake Bosumtwi (sacred to the Asantes); the W.E.B. DuBois and Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleums; traditional markets; the Homowo (New Year) and other cultural festival sites; the National Cultural Center; residences of Ghanaian kings; and the mysterious, irremovable sword of Okomfo Anokye, the legendary high priest of the Asantes.
Housing and meals are arranged in comfortable university facilities at Legon and in
Although the University of Ghana is not normally in session during the summer, the university often hosts a number of special summer programs for both local and international participants, and many campus recreational facilities are available to summer program students.
*Per university policy, Temple students who are considered “upper division” are charged additional tuition per credit in the summer (Pennsylvania Residents: additional $7 per credit; Non-Pennsylvania Residents: additional $41 per credit). “Upper division” is defined as an undergraduate student with a minimum of 60 earned credits, regardless of how obtained. This policy does not affect non-Temple students.
**The Ghana Fee includes housing, local program-related travel, program excursions, and meals. Please note that this fee is based on last year’s fee and will be updated.
Dates are tentative and subject to change
Please see General Summer Information to read about pre-departure information and orientation; passports and visas; scholarships; costs and payment policies; accreditation; and transfer of credits.
Please see Eligibility and Application Procedures for program eligibility, application requirements, and application procedures that apply to all summer programs. In addition, for the Ghana program, the following is required: