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Kuukuwa Manful to attend Ghana Studies Association conference

PHD candidate Kuukuwa Manful will be co-convening a panel at the Ghana Studies Association Conference held at the University of Ghana, Legon 10-13 July 2019.

About the Panel

"City of Tema: Center of the World

In geographical representations, the harbour town of Tema in Ghana is one of the closest cities to the centre of the world because of its proximity to the intersection of the Greenwich Meridian and Equator. 

As the first post-independence planned urban space in Ghana, this idea of being the centre of the world was heavily promoted by Nkrumah’s government and subsequent ones. Tema is central to Ghana’s historical nation building and modernization efforts.

This session - with a Visual Roundtable and a series of Flash Presentations - aims to discuss the conceptual and physical "centeredness" of the town of Tema as part of a local and global network of ports and places, from both a historical and contemporary perspective - with a focus on lived experiences, urban planning, design, art and architecture, borders, boundaries, commerce, the state, and transnational entities.

About Kuukuwa's Paper

"Old School and New School: Modernity in Tema Secondary School"

The Tema Senior High School in Ghana was founded in 1961 as part of Kwame Nkrumah’s modernising educational plans in the post-independence era. With an initial intake of 52 students and designed in the prevailing modernist architectural style of the time, the school was set up to train students in Tema and surrounding areas in the scientific, vocational and technical skills necessary to supply the new city’s industries, associated facilities and beyond. Graduating students from Tema Secondary School, as it was called at the time, were envisioned by the state as ideal modern citizens capable of contributing to the development of the nation.

Deposed in a coup d’etat, Nkrumah could not complete his modernisation plans, and subsequent governments had other plans which they attempted to implement. And through all the political and societal changes, ordinary citizens and students of Tema Senior High School also had their own ideas of citizenship and modernity which were sometimes in conflict with the state’s. 

This study analyses citizenship and modernity in light of the nation-building processes in Tema Senior High School. Through architectural analysis and interviews of both past and present students, Kuukuwa will explore how understandings of citizenship and modernity have been shaped by the social and physical architecture of education in Tema.


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