African Authority on Race and Gender to Speak


African Authority on Race and Gender to Speak

Ideas about gender equality in the workplace — from a female African scholar speaking from Ghana’s point of view — will be shared on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at SUNY Cortland.

Akosua Adomako-Ampofo, a leading authority on race and gender issues, Black feminist theory and gender-based violence, will speak at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205.

Her talk, “To Smash the Ceiling or to Build Open Houses: Gender Politics and the Glass Ceiling,” is presented by the Africana Studies Department as part of its fall lecture series and is free and open to the public.

Adomako-Ampofo serves as a professor of African and gender studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, where she also directs the university’s Institute of African Studies.

Akosua Adomako-Ampofo
 Akosua Adomako-Ampofo

An activist-scholar, Adomako-Ampofo’s work addresses issues of African knowledge systems, higher education, reproductive health, identity politics, gender-based violence, women’s work, masculinities, and popular culture.

In 2010 she was presented the American Sociological Association’s Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism award.

 “Dr. Akosua Adomako-Ampofo is an Africana womanist scholar-activist whose work, cross-nationally, has caught the attention of educators and students in the United States, Europe and Africa,” said Seth Asumah, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of SUNY Cortland’s Africana Studies Department.        

“She is intellectually stimulating and her research on gender issues has earned her many accolades, including the co-presidency of the Research Committee on Women and Society of the International Sociological Association,” said Asumah, who also teaches political science at SUNY Cortland.

Adomako-Ampofo is an advisory board member of the African Humanities Fellowship Program, the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship Program, and the Centre for African Studies at the University of the Free State. A steering committee member of the African Heritage Initiative at the University of Michigan, she also sits on the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race.

With Signe Arnfred she co-edited the 2009 collection, African Feminist Research and Activism - Tensions, Challenges and Possibilities (Uppsala: Nordic Africa). She is co-editor of Ghana Studies (University of Wisconsin Press) and executive producer, with Awo Asiedu, of the 2009 music video “As Long as You are a Woman,” featuring music written and performed by Kwabena Quaku. 

Adomako-Ampofo has served as a consultant for Ghana’s Ministry of Health, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. She has been a Rockefeller Bellagio Centre Resident, a Fulbright Junior Scholar and a Fulbright New Century Scholar.

She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science in Development Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ashanti, South Ghana. Adomako-Ampofo has a post-graduate diploma in spatial planning from the University of Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

The talk is sponsored by the President’s and the Dean of Arts and Sciences offices, Campus Artist and Lecture Series, Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, Black Student Union, Pan African Students Association, Student Government Association, International Programs, Clark Center for International Education, Women’s Studies, and the Political Science and Africana Studies departments.

For more information, contact Asumah at or 607-753-2064.