College of Humanities holds 4th International Research Conference

The College of Humanities of the University of Ghana has held its 4th Annual International Research Conference. The two-day conference was on the theme “Prospect and Challenges of Humanities Research in the 21st Century”, in line with the University’s 70th Anniversary. The conference took place at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) Conference Facility from November 1-2, 2018.

During the opening ceremony, Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities, in his welcome statement, noted that the theme for this year’s conference was a reflection on the relevance of humanities scholarship to the continuous development of the African continent. He encouraged all present to participate in all sessions of the conference.

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost delivering the welcome statement

The Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu who chaired the opening ceremony of the Conference entreated all lecturers to maintain a healthy relationship with students and urged students to use appropriate channels to address grievances to avoid a recurrence of the unfortunate incidence at KNUST.

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu addressing participants

Prof. Frederick Thomas Hendricks from Rhodes University, South Africa delivered the keynote address on the topic “Why Study of Art When People are Starving? In Defence of Engaged Scholarship in the Humanities”. He dismissed the assertions of critiques who undermined the usefulness of the study of Humanities saying, “There is clearly a need for all of us in the Humanities to respond to this generalized derision”. Prof. Hendricks emphasized the need to engage humanities scholars committed to unravelling the social, political, economic and cultural challenges faced by our continent.  

Prof. Frederick Hendricks presenting the keynote speech

In attendance at the opening ceremony were ambassadors from selected embassies, representatives from Governmental and non-governmental organisations, representatives from selected financial institutions, presenters and participants from Ghana and the diaspora, lecturers, students, selected media houses and members of the general public.

A cross-section of audience at the opening ceremony

Three awards were presented to motivate researchers under the Provost Publications Awards, as part of the conference. The winners for this year’s awards were: Mid-career – Dr. Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani, Early career - Dr. Iddisah Sulemana and Doctoral student - Mr. Louis Kusi Frimpong.

Awardees with the Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Presenters and participants deliberated on relevant theme in parallel sessions on the first day of the conference such as: Economic Growth and International Trade, Language and Literature, Health and Well Being, Livelihoods, Business and Technology, Performance, Creativity and Culture, Demography and Migration, Psychology of Health as well as a special panel session on Migration and Transcultural Exchanges.

A panel discussion on the theme “The Impact of Humanities Research on Policy Formulation and Implementation” was organized on the second day along with parallel sessions on themes including: Politics and Media, Culture and Gender, Healthcare Perspectives, Methodologies and Humanities Research, Behaviour and Attitudes in Organisations and a special panel session on Gender, Sexuality and culture.

Panel discussants during the special panel session

There was a brief closing ceremony to thank presenters and participants for their involvement in the conference after which certificates were issued to those present. The Provost encouraged presenters to effect necessary corrections in their papers to enable them submit for publication in appropriate journals. Conference Committee members and other support staff were lauded for their contribution towards the success of the conference.

A campus tour followed the closing ceremony as an opportunity for participants to familiarize themselves with the University of Ghana campus.