Center for African Popular Culture Studies
Ashesi University College

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Acting Director

Joseph Oduro-Frimpong Senior Lecturer


The Center was established within the former Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ashesi University in January 2016. As a result of the continued growth at the University, the center has become an autonomous unit. Ashesi University College is not only Ghana’s first-ever liberal arts university but one of Africa’s first private institution of higher learning to adopt the liberal arts model of education. As a result, the University has been accepted into the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA), a multilateral group of liberal arts institutions with the goal of supporting excellence and cooperation in liberal arts education across different countries. In collaboration with the former Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, there is now an undergraduate course on Ghanaian Popular Culture. Furthermore, the collaboration has allowed faculty, students and the larger Ghanaian community to experience musical concerts on Ghanaian highlife music, book readings from the Nigerian novelist and poet Chuma Nkwolo, exhibitions on selected African leaders, exhibitions on political cartoons, highlife music cover art and hand-painted movie posters.

The Center’s mission is lead and excel in the field of African popular culture studies through scholarship, teaching and service of outstanding quality to Ashesi University in particular and Universities on the African continent as a whole. As well, the Center aims to develop knowledge and theorizing from the local, to the continent, and to the global. Lastly, the center aims to help develop intra-comparative African popular culture courses targeting undergraduates to deepen their awareness and appreciation of their intellectual value of the field; The center aims to be a home for early career mentoring in order to produce next generation of scholars in African popular culture; and lastly, the center aims to produce cutting edge theory to help us grasp – to borrow Carli Coetzee’s words – the ‘emergent present’ of the lifeworld of African popular culture.