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Africa Workshop: Kwesi Yankah

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
4:00 AM
Michigan Room, Michigan League

Kwesi Yankah, Professor of Linguistics, University of Ghana "9/11 and the Tragic Death of an Asante King: Comparative Perspectives" Tuesday, November 1, 4 pm, Michigan Room, Michigan League Reception will Follow Biosketch Kwesi Yankah is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ghana and was, until recently, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of that university. He was educated at University of Ghana and Indiana University where he obtained his doctorate. He is an accomplished scholar in the ethnography of communication. Professor Yankah has published widely and is the author of "Speaking for the Chief: Okyeame and the Politics of Akan Royal Oratory" and "The Proverb in the Context of Akan Rhetoric: A Theory of Proverb Praxis". In his talk, Yankah uses the tragedy of 9-11 as a frame of reference, to examine differential attitudes to national calamities and commemorative sites. His paper revolves on the integration of verbal taboos and unmentionable calamities within judicial systems in parts of Africa, and emergent dilemmas within the contemporary nation state. The situation is compounded by intrusive norms of the global media that confront customary lore in Africa. During the Fall semester, he is a Visiting Professor in the Anthropology Department and African Studies Center teaching a Course in Ethnopoetics.