I’m a PhD student specializing in twentieth century African and environmental history. My dissertation, “Planting Trees, Tapping Ghanaians: Cultivating Rubber and Nationhood in 20th Century Ghana,” will explore the ways in which farmers, the state, and transnational companies consolidated land, labor, and capital to develop rubber plantations in colonial and post-colonial Ghana. The rubber industry presents a particularly useful case to observe how Ghanaians in rural areas of the peripheral Western Region have engaged with hegemonic institutions and resources – both natural and social – in dynamic ways throughout political and economic reforms during the colonial and post-colonial eras. I’m advised by Bob Harms, and my dissertation committee includes Paul Sabin, Dan Magaziner, and Jeffrey Ahlman (from Smith College).
With the support of an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, I will conduct archival and oral historical research in Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States for one year beginning in January 2017. During my time at Yale, I have also received support from the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, the Yale Council on African Studies, and the Beinecke Scholarship Program. Before beginning at Yale in the Fall of 2014, I spent a year abroad in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Malaysia studying the local production of global commodities as a Watson Fellow. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about studying environmental or African history at Yale!