Women, Religion, and Culture
January 8th – 28th, 2005
In January 2005, the Africana Studies Department launched Wellesley College’s first Wintersession in Ghana. Professors Pashington Obeng and Judith Rollins escorted twenty students for a three-week academic program, focusing on culture, spiritualty, and women in Ghana.
Based in Accra, the capital, the program included morning lectures at the University of Ghana in Legon, given by Ghanaian scholars of history, culture, religion, and women’s studies. Afternoons included site visits to such institutions/organizations as the National Museum of Ghana, the Nkrumah Mausoleum, the DuBois Memorial Center, FIDA (an NGO of women lawyers), WISE (Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment), WAJU (Woman and Juvenile Unit of the Ghana Police Service), the Sideeqiya Women’s Muslim School, the Akrofi-Christaller Center for Mission Research, the Tema Women Fishsmokers’ Cooperative, and the National Council on Women and Development.
On one weekend, the group traveled to Cape Coast and Elmina, visiting, among other sites, the shrine for the St. Anthony statue relic in Ntonabuw and Elmina Castle. Elmina Castle is one of the many structures built on the west coast of Africa to “warehouse” enslaved Africans before they were shipped across the Atlantic.
On another weekend, the group traveled inland to the Ashanti region visiting Kumasi Market, Manhyia Palace, the Prempeh II Museum and the rural villages of Asoafua, Assimang, Bonwire, and Ntonso.
The program was designed in cooperation with Dr. Michael Williams, member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana, Director of Ghana’s CIEE program, and Director of the Aya Center for Intercultural Awareness.