April 2014: EUROTAST West Africa Meeting

Cape Coast Castle, photo by Colleen Morgan.


5th – 16th April / Legon, Ghana; Gorée Island and Dakar, Senegal 

EUROTAST were hosted by the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana and the Laboratoire d’Archéologie, Institute Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Sénégal for a training initiative and symposia dedicated to Exploring the Memories and Legacies of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa. The events were organized by Professor Paul Lane in conjunction with Professor Kodzo Gavua in Ghana and Dr. Ibrahima Thiaw in Senegal. Participants included the EUROTAST research fellows and professors and students from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea and the United States.

The symposium at the University of Ghana. Photo by Colleen Morgan.

The symposium held at the University of Ghana, Memorialization and Heritage: Legacies of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in West Africa, featured papers given by Benjamin Kofi Nutor and Kodzo Gavua (University of Ghana), Aïcha Kamité (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), Emuobosa Orijemie (University of Ibadan), Colleen Morgan (University of York), Temi Odumosu (University of Copenhagen), Samuel Oluwole Ogundele (University of Ibadan), Ibrahima Thiaw (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), and Winston Phulgence (University of York). The wide range of papers revealed the variety and originality of research regarding the Transatlantic Slave Trade, including perspectives regarding archaeological, digital, and art historical approaches to the subject.

Kodzo Gavua, speaking in Senegal. Photo by Colleen Morgan.

On Gorée Island, the symposium Slave Raiding, Trading and Ownership in West Africa and Beyond: Reflections on Origins and Transatlantic Connections, featured papers given by Ibrahima Seck (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), Joan-Mary I. Ogiogwa (Obafemi Awolowo University), Jay B. Haviser (SIMARC), Hannes Schroeder (University of Copenhagen), Ken Kelly (University of South Carolina), El Hadj Ibrahima Fall (Université Nelson Mandela). The presenters explored genetics, material culture, and archaeological research and enjoyed lively feedback and discussion with students from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop.

Colleen and Temi during the Inspiration Day, photo by Marcela Sandoval.

In addition to the symposia, Educator Inspiration Days, led by Temi Odumosu and Colleen Morgan were held in both Ghana and Senegal. These workshops were dedicated to Teaching Slavery Creatively, using interdisciplinary approaches. Small-group sessions encouraged the exchange of knowledge through photographs and material culture to connect learners across generations and cultures. One session, led by EUROTAST research fellow Sarah Abel, explored how the names of enslaved people found in primary source records could give insights regarding ethnic identity, resistance, and familial ties. This session proved extremely powerful, as the African participants found the names were sometimes transliterated by enslavers and identified several names still in use today.

EUROTAST at Frederiksgave, photo by Marcela Sandoval.

Finally, to better understand memorialisation of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa, the EUROTAST research network visited several sites of memory in Ghana and Senegal, including Elmina and Cape Coast Castle, Frederiksgave, and the House of Slaves on Gorée Island.

The full programme, including abstracts for the symposia papers can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

– Post by Colleen Morgan

Categorized: EUROTAST Reporting
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