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Traveling Humanities Seminar


History, Culture, and Ideas in an Emerging West African Democracy

In 1957 Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve political independence. Its most enduring democratic experiment began in 1992 and it is currently gaining recognition as one of the strongest, most stable, thriving and leading constitutional democracy on the African continent. According to World Bank figures, Ghana is experiencing one of the fastest rates of economic growth in the world. While these credentials inspire enthusiasm both in and about the country, in the face of inefficient financial management by successive governments, high budget deficits, an electoral system in need of reform, high unemployment, and low education results per investment, the critics are questioning if free and fair elections alone defines Ghana as a democracy. This Traveling Humanities Seminar looks at Ghana's emerging democracy in the post trans-Atlantic slave trade and independence eras through history, culture, art, music, and literature.

President Obama in courtyard of Cape Coast castle in GhanaOur itinerary includes three cities, each with rich cultural traditions and history: Accra (4 days), Kumasi (2 days) and Cape Coast (1 day). Each day there will be one or more meetings with historians, artists, musicians, university faculty, religious leaders and non-governmental organizations.

Our guide for the entire week will be Sam Nii Baddoo, a local historian, guide, tour consultant, and recognized leader in Old Accra Community Guides Association.

Our program will include a pre-departure meeting with a humanities scholar with expertise in Ghanaian history. Also included are lectures and discussions with scholars, historians, artists, theologians and policy experts in Ghana. One of the major highlights is Akwasidae, the Akan festival and performance spectacle in Kumasi, honoring Akan ancestors and the Asantehene (King of the Asante Kingdom).

The cost to participate in this program is $3,499* per person. The price includes tuition, round-trip airfare from Boston, hotels (all 3-star) with 6 breakfasts, lunches and dinners, in-country transportation, fees for guide and driver, entrance fees to museums and other attractions and a tax-deductible contribution to Mass Humanities. (Prices quoted are per person, double occupancy. The single room supplement is $420.) Please note that if a minimum number of travelers is not reached, the trip will be cancelled and fully refunded.

People interested in contemporary Ghana, post-colonial Africa, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Ghanaian history, art and culture, and those who work in the cultural, educational and non-profit sectors are especially encouraged to participate. To register and reserve your place in this unique program, download and complete the registration form and send in with deposit.

* price subject to change due to possible increase in air travel

Rose Sackey-MilliganYour group leader will be Rose Sackey-Milligan, Program Officer at Mass Humanities. Rose has led previous groups to Cuba and has traveled extensively to Ghana since 1992.

Sam Nii Baddoo"I tell the story of Ghana as handed to us by the ancestors."
Your guide will be Sam Nii Baddoo. Sam is a local historian, guide, tour consultant, and recognized leader in Old Accra Community Guides Association.

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