Very recently Professor Toyin Falola has used festschriften to honor African scholars of high repute, including Professors A. Adu Boahen, J. F. A. Ajayi, and B. A. Ogot. This labor of appreciation is very laudable because for most of our history we have not celebrated our academic giants and pace-setters. It is in this context that we summon an exemplary resplendent kente-clad celebration to the life and scholarship of Professor Kwame Arhin, former Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. Professor Arhin is an eminent Ghanaian scholar, teacher, and statesman. He retired from the University of Ghana, Legon, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, after four decades of fruitful service. Professor Arhin had his secondary education at the famous Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana, where he was adjudged the best all-round student of the graduating class of 1956. Thereafter, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree (Sociology) and Doctorate degree (Anthropology) at the University of Oxford.
Throughout his stellar career, Professor Arhin’s scholarship has been defined by inclusive interdisciplinarity that bridges the boundaries of sociology, anthropology, and history. He is one of the most acclaimed path-breaking Ghanaian scholars of our time. An accomplished prolific scholar, he has numerous monographs, anthologies, book chapters, journal articles, government-sponsored project reports, and a large volume of unpublished essays to his credit. Professor Arhin’s major area of research, which he conceptualized as Greater Asante and its coterminous regions in what is today Ghana, has contributed immensely to our understanding of Ghanaian cum African history and society. His focus on Asante and other aspects of Ghanaian society and history spans the breadth of precolonial, colonial and contemporary periods. Professor Arhin’s versatility as a scholar is not submissive to easy categorizations. That said, his major themes, braided with interdisciplinary thread, indeed, the federation of his professional calling, deal with the efficacy of precolonial Asante political economies, their formidable engagements with colonial policies and institutions, and their composite facility in re/negotiating contemporary forces of change and continuity. Overall, his pioneering works, defined by scrupulous attention to detail and interrogation between theory and empiricism, have provided a rich scholarly terrain for rethinking Asante history in particular and Ghanaian and African history as a whole. Informed by infinite applications of Akan oral history and traditions, ontology, and epistemology, Professor Arhin’s scholarship has served as a composite template of constructive intervention in aspects of Ghanaian society and history that are all too often rooted in hegemonic colonial and Christian missionary sources.
In recognition of the life and scholarship of Professor Arhin, chapter contributions are solicited for inclusion in an anthology being planned as a festschrift in his honor. Based on the tradition of Professor Arhin, we welcome critical interdisciplinary essays that address precolonial, colonial and contemporary Ghanaian, African, and African Diaspora topics written from sociological, anthropological, and historical perspectives. Contributors may focus on any aspect of Professor Arhin’s work, though this is not a requirement. Also rigorous synthesis essays based wholly or partly on secondary sources that rethink staple historiographies and received notions will be considered. Abstracts of about 400 words should be sent to Professor Kwabena Akurang-Parry at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for abstract submissions is May 30, 2011; acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to potential contributors by June 15, 2011; and the deadline for submission of full papers is December 15, 2011.
Kwabena Akurang-Parry, Ph. D.
Dept of History
Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
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