Strategies for the Promotion of Linguistic and Cultural Rights in Ghana: Perspectives from Linguistic Pan-Africanism

You are invited to the GSA 2nd Annual Keynote Lecture at the 65th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Philadelphia

Date: Friday November 18 at 7:30pm EST. Location: TBA

Keynote Lecture by Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo, FGA

Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo, FGA
Department of African Studies
University of Vienna, Austria, Europe


What are linguistic and cultural rights and how can scholars of the humanities help enrich the general notion of human rights for a better world? As African societies become more urban in the 21st century, a multiplicity of languages and cultures is bound to be a common phenomenon in urban spaces, and issues of right of language and right to language will come to the fore. This paper examines the inter-relationships between linguistic and cultural rights on the one hand, and the general notion of human rights, on the other hand, as universal concepts before applying them to the African context. It outlines various strategies that are being taken or that ought to be taken by African actors to promote the revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures of Africa. Finally, it points to how Africa and other parts of the world can learn from each other in promoting indigenous languages and the cultures associated with them under the aegis of the United Nations’ Decade of Indigenous Languages, 2022 to 2032.

Short Bio

Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo is a distinguished scholar, accomplished author and researcher, and a leading advocate of African languages in the literary world. For about 40 years, he’s taught at many prestigious universities around the world including the University of Ghana, Stanford University, University of Hong Kong, Bayreuth University, and the University of Vienna- Austria. He’s currently one of the most prominent scholars in the field of Linguistics and African Studies globally. Indeed, he’s one of the first black scholars to be appointed into the position of Chair Professorship in Austria, the highest academic position in the German-speaking world. He has won several prestigious fellowships and research projects throughout his academic life. One of the most prominent books he has authored is The Structure of Dagaare (in the series, Stanford Monographs in African Languages) which is a pioneering study on the grammatical structure of his native language, Dagaare, spoken in Northwestern Ghana and adjoining areas of Burkina Faso.