Carola Lentz, professor of Anthropology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, has been named the new president of the Goethe-Institut.
A lifetime member of the Ghana Studies Association (GSA), Prof. Lentz joined the association in the 1990s. She has conducted fieldwork in Ghana since the late 1980s; for many years, her focus was on the Upper West Region, particularly the Dagara and Sisala peoples, where she investigated the dynamics of labour migration, colonial history, land rights and settlement history, ethnicity, chieftaincy and cultural festivals and, more recently, the emergence of a middle class. Since 2007, the year of the Ghana@50 celebrations, she has also engaged in research on national celebrations and examined, more generally, the politics of commemoration, including the history of the Nkrumah monuments. She has deposited many of her field materials with the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana- for instance translations of hundreds of interviews on the settlement history in the Black Volta region in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
She is currently working on a collaborative book project (together with Isidore Lobnibe, a Ghanaian anthropologist and professor of anthropology in the US) on the history of remembering in the extended Ghanaian-Burkinabé family into which she was adopted in 1987. In recognition of her research on cultural institutions and her merits in promoting academic cooperation, the late Nandom Naa Dr Puoure Poube Chiir VII awarded her the title of a “Maalu Naa” of the Nandom Traditional Area in 2013.
Her publications include Remembering Independence (2018) and Land, Mobility and Belonging in West Africa (2013), which was awarded the 2014 Melville J. Herskovits Prize by the African Studies Association.
We congratulate Prof. Lentz on this great honour!