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NEW YORK UNIVERSITY NYU ACCRA


Cocoa and Gold: Ghana’s Development in Global Perspective





Class code

TBA

Instructor Details

Dr. Kofi Baku


Kofi.baku@gmail.com
0244-609849


Class Details

Cocoa and Gold: Ghana’s Development in Global Perspective

Mondays: 10:00am -1:00pm
Classroom 1


Prerequisites

None



Class Description

This course explores Ghana’s development in historic perspective from the colonial era to the recent postcolonial period. It provides an interdisciplinary history that is attentive to political economy, social relations, geography, and politics as they congeal in particular ways throughout Ghana’s development trajectory. It traces the key forces at play in Ghanaian development through time, paying particular attention to the transformations prompted by the region’s encounter with and incorporation into a global economy. Key historical moments will include the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the colonial era in light of their attendant reconfigurations of land, labor, and natural resources—as well as landscapes of power and politics. In the postcolonial period, the course will examine the central epochs in the country’s development trajectory, in relation to its rich political history and shifting global discourses of development and geopolitics. This will include attention to dynamics such as Asian investment, urbanization, international development aid, and the discovery of oil. The goal of the course is to explore theories and debates in development through deep engagement with the specific trajectory of Ghana, as a sort of intensive case study. Field visits (for instance to gold mines and cocoa fields) will be used to complement class discussions and to take advantage of the location of the course in Accra. Ghana’s specific development trajectory will, in turn, be located alongside wider African and global South development trajectories as well as development debates and discourses whenever possible.



Themes:
Classes will proceed by way of the following themes:


  1. Colonial society in Ghana in the 19th century;




  1. The rise of cocoa and gold as export commodities;




  1. Migration and labor in cocoa and gold production; and




  1. New horizons in Ghana social and economic development: Asian investments and oil.


Teaching philosophy
Student and Teacher interaction in this course is underpinned by the philosophy of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher who lived from 551 BC to 479 BC, which says that:
Tell me and I’ll forget

Show me and I will remember

Involve me and I will understand.
As such you will be expected, at the minimum, to read and take notes on the weekly materials in this syllabus before class.


Desired Outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the significant and key historical events and developments that shaped Ghana’s social and economic development after the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade;



  1. Understand the integration of Ghana into the global economic system after the end of the Atlantic slave trade as a primary producer of cocoa and gold; and



  1. Understand the consequences and legacies of colonialism for Ghana’s post colonial development.




Assessment Components


Requirements


  1. The course is organized around lectures with discussions in class.




  1. Students are required to attend all lectures. Attendance at lectures is not optional and the roll will be taken at random and excuses will not be accepted for absence from lectures unless prior permission has been sought. There will be no make up for unexcused absence from class. Students who frequently absent themselves from lectures will not be eligible to take the end of semester examinations.




  1. You are expected to read the materials before lectures, take notes of the readings, and be prepared to discuss them in class. The notes should be a brief summary of the readings for the week. It should be at least 2 typed written pages and should include:




  • The thesis/theses (argument/arguments) of the reading;

  • The types of sources and evidence that the author uses to support the argument;

  • Your assessment of the author’s interpretations (are they convincing? how would you construct the arguments differently?);

  • Questions that the reading raised for you, including points of agreement and disagreement; and,

  • New lessons that you learnt or the take away lessons.

These notes will be taken by me after the class and it would, addition to hearing you in the class, assist me to determine your contribution to the discussions in class. It will also be evidence of attendance. Each note will be assessed on 4 grades making 36 grades and will represent 36% of the total grade. You will lose marks if you submit your notes to me on a day later than the day of the class.


Notes will be expected for the classes in:


  • Week 2

  • Week 3

  • Week 4

  • Week 5

  • Week 9

  • Week 10

  • Week 12

  • Week 13

  • Week 15




  1. There will be three (3) take away assignments, each of which will be graded over 8% making a total of 24%.




  • The 1st assignment will be due in week 6. The assignment will be an assessment of:




  1. Roger S. Gocking: Facing two ways: Ghana’s coastal communities under colonial rule, Lanham: University Press of America, 1999

  2. Kobina Sekyi, The Blinkards: A comedy, London: Heinemann, 1974

The second assignment will be due in week 11. The assignment will be an assessment of:




  1. Frederick Cooper: “Africa and the World Economy”, African Studies Review, vol. 24 no 2/3 (1981): 1 – 86

  2. Frederick Cooper: “Conflict and Connection: Rethinking African Colonial History, American Historical Review, vol. 99, no. (Dec 1994): 1516 – 1546

  3. Frederick Cooper: “Possibility and Constraint: African Independence in Historical Perspective, Journal of African History, 49, (2008): 167-196.




  • The third assignment will be due in week 14. The assignment will be an assessment of Walter Rodney: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Washington: Howard University Press, 1982




  1. There will be 3 field trips and you will be expected to write a reaction paper to each field trip. Each reaction paper will graded over 8% making a total of 24%.




  1. There will be a movie on the Ghana’s economic history. You will be expected to write a reaction paper to the movie. It will be graded over 6%.




  1. There will be a final sit-in end of semester examination, which will be graded over 10%.


Summary of grades


  1. Notes on class readings 36

  2. Take away assignments 24

  3. Field trips 24

  4. Movie 6

  5. End of Semester Examinations 10

Total 100



Assessment Expectations

Grade A: Creativity, evidence of independent research for references and theories, outstanding analysis and interpretation of texts, active participation in class discussions and assignments. A good grasp of the English Language.

Grade B: Evidence of independent research, proficient analysis of references and texts, active participation in class discussions and assignments. A good grasp of the English Language.

Grade C: Minimal creativity, efficient interpretation of references, passable analysis, indifferent participation in class discussions and assignments. An average grasp of the English Language.

Grade D: Lack of creativity, no evidence of independent research for references, passable analysis, poor participation in class discussions and assignments. A poor grasp of the English Language.

Grade F: Poor grasp of topics, inability to interpret texts, evidence of poor reading habits, low participation in class discussions and assignments, very poor grammar.

Grade conversion

GRADE CONVERSION

A          94- 100              Excellent

A-         90-93                Very Good

B+        87-89                Good

B          84-86                Above Average

B-         80-83                Average

C+        77-79                Pass

C          74-76                Pass

C-         70-73                Pass

D          65-69                Concessionary Pass

F.         Below 65           Fail




Grading Policy


Attendance Policy


Attendance Policy

Study abroad at Global Academic Centers is an academically intensive and immersive experience, in which students from a wide range of backgrounds exchange ideas in discussion-based seminars. Learning in such an environment depends on the active participation of all students. And since classes typically meet once or twice a week, even a single absence can cause a student to miss a significant portion of a course. To ensure the integrity of this academic experience, class attendance at the centers is mandatory, and unexcused absences will be penalized with a two percent deduction from the student’s final course grade for every week of classes missed. Students are responsible for making up any work missed due to absence. Repeated absences will result in harsher penalties, including failure due to absence. Repeated absences in a course may result in failure.



Late Submission of Work


You will lose marks if you submit your notes to me on a day later than the day of the class.



Plagiarism Policy

As the University's policy on "Academic Integrity for Students at NYU" states: "At NYU, a commitment to excellence, fairness, honesty, and respect within and outside the classroom is essential to maintaining the integrity of our community. By accepting membership in this community, students take responsibility for demonstrating these values in their own conduct and for recognizing and supporting these values in others." Students at Global Academic Centers must follow the University and school policies.




Required Text(s)

Readings:





  • Edward Reynolds: Trade and economic change on the Gold Coast, 1807 – 1874, Burnt Hill: Longmans, 1974







  • Anne Phillips: The enigma of colonialism: British policy in West Africa, London: James Curry, 1989







  • Raymond Dumett: El Dorado in West Africa: The gold-mining frontier, African labor, and colonial capitalism on the Gold Coast, 1975 – 1900, Athen: Ohio University Press, 1998




  • Roger S. Gocking: Facing two ways: Ghana’s coastal communities under colonial rule, Lanham, University Press of America, 1999




  • Gareth Austin: Labour, land and capital in Ghana: From slavery to free labour in Asante, Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2005




  • Kobina Sekyi, The Blinkards: A comedy, London: Heinemann, 1974




  • Walter Rodney: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Washington: Howard University Press, 1982




Supplemental Texts(s) (not required to purchase as copies are in NYU-L Library)



Internet Research Guidelines



Additional Required Equipment



Session 1


Introducing the course and getting started – expectations etc




Session 2


The aftermath of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Integrating Ghana into the Global Economic System


Readings:


  • Edward Reynolds: Trade and economic change on the Gold Coast, 1807 – 1874, Burnt Hill: Longmans, 1974




  • Gwendolyn Mikell: Cocoa and chaos in Ghana, Washington: Howard University Press, 1992


Session 3



Colonial Economic Development: Some of the Debates
Readings:


  • Gareth Austin: Labour, land and capital in Ghana: From slavery to free labour in Asante, Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2005

Session 4




The Rise of Cocoa: Land
Readings:


  • Gwendolyn Mikell: Cocoa and chaos in Ghana, Washington: Howard University Press, 1992




  • Gareth Austin: Labour, land and capital in Ghana: From slavery to free labour in Asante, Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2005

Session 5



The Rise of Cocoa: Labour


  • Polly Hill: The migrant cocoa-farmers of southern Ghana: A study in rural capitalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963




  • Gwendolyn Mikell: Cocoa and chaos in Ghana, Washington: Howard University Press, 1992




  • Gareth Austin: Labour, land and capital in Ghana: From slavery to free labour in Asante, Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2005




Session 6


Tour of Ghana National Museum (First assignment due)



Session 7


A 4-day tour of Cocoa Research Institute, Tafo and cocoa growing areas in the Eastern Region of Ghana





Session 8

Mid-Semester Break



Session 9


Traditional Gold Mining in Ghana and the European Gold Rush


Reading:


  • Raymond Dumett: El Dorado in West Africa: The gold-mining frontier, African labor, and colonial capitalism on the Gold Coast, 1975 – 1900, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998




Session 10

Gold Mining in Ghana: Technology and Labour


Reading:

  • Raymond Dumett: El Dorado in West Africa: The gold-mining frontier, African labor, and colonial capitalism on the Gold Coast, 1975 – 1900, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998




Session 11



A 4-day tour of gold mining areas in the Western Region of Ghana



(Second assignment due)


Session 12


Health and Social Issues of Gold Mining in Ghana


Readings:


  • Raymond Dumett: “Disease and Mortality among Gold Miners of Ghana: Colonial Government and Mining Company Attitudes and Policies, 1900 – 1938”, Social Science Medicine, 37, 2, (1993): 213 – 232




  • Emmanuel Akyeampong: “‘Wo pe tam wom pe ba (You like cloth but you don’t want children) Urbanization, Individualism and Gender Relations in Colonial Ghana, 1900 – 39”, David M. Anderson & Richard Rathbone: Africa’s Urban Past, Oxford: James Currey, 2000

Session 13


The New Frontiers: Asian Investments and Exploitation of Oil


Reading:


  • Donovan Chau: Exploiting Africa, The influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana and Tanzania, 2014




Session 14


Movie: Ghana’s Economic Development



(Third assignment due)



Session 15


Colonialism and Ghana’s Development: An Assessment


Readings:


  • Anne Phillips: The enigma of colonialism: British policy in West Africa, London: James Curry, 1989




  • Rhoda Howard: Colonialism and underdevelopment in Ghana, London: Croom Helm, 1978

Session 16

Final Examination



Classroom Etiquette

Use of mobile phones in lectures in any form (i.e., making or receiving calls and sending or reading text messages etc) is STRICTLY forbidden. You will be severely sanctioned if you use a mobile in lectures.



Required Co-curricular Activities

Field trips to other regions in Ghana



Suggested Co-curricular Activities





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