MIASA has a new Director Germany


Current and former MIASA Directors (from left to right): Professor Gordon Crawford, Professor Mamadou Diawara, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, Dr. Grace Diabah, Professor Abena Oduro, Dr. Susann Baller (missing: Professor Charlotte Wrigley Asante)

The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) at the University of Ghana has a new director from the German side. In January 2024, Professor Mamadou Diawara was appointed Director Germany. Professor Diawara is Goethe Research Professor at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Goethe University Frankfurt. He is founding director of the Point Sud, The Centre for Research on Local Knowledge in Bamako, Mali. He has taught and conducted research at the University of Bayreuth and Yale University, and was fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, among others. In 2022, Diawara was elected a member of the British Academy. His research areas include media, copyright, migration, history, oral tradition, and local knowledge in sub-Saharan Africa. In line with MIASA’s dual directorship, Professor Mamadou Diawara has joined Dr. Grace Diabah, who has held the position of „director Ghana”?? at MIASA since August2022.

Mamadou Diwara is taking over from Dr. Susann Baller, who served as MIASA “Director Germany” from January 2021 until December 2023. After her three year term as MIASA Director Susann Baller joined the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin as researcher. During her time as “Director Germany”, which started in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, MIASA has grown into an internationally visible institute for advanced studies with a vibrant network of fellows, alumnis, guests, an artist in residence programme and other affiliated researchers from the University of Ghana and beyond as well as a rich event programme. MIASA is grateful to Susann Baller for her contribution to the institute within the past three years, not least for her dedication to bring Anglophone and Francophone scholars together, to promote research collaboration, and to advocate female academic careers.

The new team of directors will be working jointly in further developing MIASA’s academic profile and in strengthening its visibility in the academic world. MIASA was implemented in 2018 as the fourth institute of the College of Humanities at the University of Ghana, while its academic activities have, from its beginnings, been funded through the Maria/Merian Sybilla Merian programmes of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research via MIASA’s German partners.