Study African Arts and Culture in Ghana

12 April 2010

Aiming to provide an international, life-transforming educational experience valuable to students enrolled in programs across arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences, this nine credit summer study abroad program in Ghana, entitled "West African Music, Dance, Society, and Culture," comprises social science, humanities, and performing arts components.

Formally equivalent to three semester-long University of Alberta courses, available at both undergraduate and graduate levels, this program provides a grounded global perspective relevant to a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories.
In this program, studies of music and dance are not just ends in themselves, but rather constitute performative and participatory strategies for intercultural understanding, complemented by study of politics, history, religion, linguistics, literature, drama, economy, women's studies, and development - in the classroom, on the road, and in the field.
The program is available for both undergraduate and graduate credit.
Formally there are three courses, of three credits each:
• West African Music Ensemble (Music 144/244, 544). A practicum developing basic skills required for performance and understanding of traditional Ghanaian music, song, and dance, including music of the Ga, Asanti, and other groups, but with a special focus upon Ewe music traditions of the Volta Region. Includes study on the University of Ghana campus, in a traditional Ewe village, and in various locations throughout Ghana. Note: if you require non-junior credit you can substitute 244 for 144.
• Introduction to Ethnomusicology: The ethnomusicology of Ghanaian music and dance (Music 365, 565) Scholarly study of traditional and popular performance of Ghana, treating the form and meaning of traditional music and dance in cultural contexts, linking music and social identity, and reading Ghanaian culture, politics, history, and religion through music. The music, culture, society, and history of the Ewes will be included, so as to harmonize with the other two courses. The course culminates with the practical experience of doing ethnomusicology in Dagbamete.
• West African culture, language, and society (Middle Eastern and African Studies 300, 500). This course comprises a multidisciplinary investigation of West African culture (possibly including study of literature, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, history, political science, religious studies, economics, or other disciplines), plus a practical introduction to the Ewe language, in conversation and through its oral literary tradition.
These three courses continue in parallel throughout three program components, of roughly 10-12 days each: (1) classroom study at the University of Ghana's beautiful Legon campus, on the outskirts of Ghana's capital, Accra; (2) travel throughout Ghana, with attention to natural, historical and cultural landmarks, and varied opportunities to observe and study music and dance; (3) cultural immersion in a small Ewe village located in southeastern Ghana, with opportunities for fieldwork and intensive study of music, dance, and language.
Regarding application procedures please contact:

Caroline Lawson, Study Abroad Student Advisor
University of Alberta International Education Abroad Program
8920 HUB Mall , Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E1
Tel: 780 492 6215 | Fax: 780 492 6213
You may also contact Professor Michael Frishkopf for further information about the program itself.
Scholarships of $750 are available for all Albertans.