History, Memory, and the Atlantic World in Ghana and the U.S.
Peter G. Thurnauer Memorial Winter Break Programs Fund
Pictured: A Gold Coast fishing community
Faculty Director: Harry M. Williams
INFORMATION MEETING: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4:30PM, Leighton 305
Application due Friday, Apr. 16, in the History Department, Leighton 210
HISTORY 381 (fall term)
History, Memory, and the Atlantic World: Ghana and the United States
This reading and research seminar prepares students for a winter-break field trip to Ghana. It investigates four major questions; did contemporary Gold Coast merchants participate in the Atlantic world slave trade as willing partners or did they make irrational decisions? How do Ghanaians remember slavery, British colonization, and the struggle for independence? What roles did W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and Richard Wright play in Ghana’s cultural life? Why did Maya Angelou and other American writers and artists move to Ghana during the Civil Rights Movement?
Instructor: H. Williams, Fall 2010, 6 credits
WINTER TERM: HISTORY 382 (winter break and winter term)
History, Memory, and the Atlantic World: On Site and Revisited
The first part of the seminar is a 15-day Winter Break Field Trip to Ghana. Fieldwork begins in Accra, the seat of national government since 1877. The capital is the base for lectures by University of Ghana professors and for visits to sites representing important moments in Ghana’s post-colonial history. The trip continues to Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti Region and once an inland terminus of major slave trading routes to the Atlantic coast. Kumasi is the base for day trips to traditional craft villages and for lectures by professors at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Cape Coast, capital of the Central Region, and Elmina are the third leg of the field trip. The rich architectural heritage of these ancient cities includes slave castles. Cape Coast is the base for lectures at the University of Cape Coast. The seminar concludes on Carleton’s campus with weekly meetings for 10 weeks during Winter term 2011. This enables students to complete and give oral or visual presentations on topics developed during fall Term 2010 and researched on the ground in Ghana.
Instructor: H. Williams, Winter 2011, 6 credits
The program is designed for students who are interested in U.S. History, Africa and its Diaspora, or the Atlantic World. Applicants must have completed History 110 or another class in History, African/African-American Studies, American Studies or another relevant discipline by Spring 2010. Consult Professor Williams with questions on this requirement. History, African/African American Studies, and American Studies majors are particularly encouraged to apply, but the program is open to all students.
Students are responsible for their airfare to Ghana, visas, some meals, and personal expenses. The college covers all instructional expenses on-site through generous private funding. The seminar will take place during the first two weeks of December; exact dates will be announced later.
Applications are due by Friday, April 16, 2010 in the History Department Office, Leighton 210. They are available on the OCS program website, from Professor Williams, or in the OCS office (Leighton 119). Questions may be addressed to Professor Williams (email@example.com) or the OCS office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Peter George Thurnauer (1937-1976) was a Physics major, Carleton ’59. He is remembered for his intellect, generosity, and wry sense of humor. His classmates recall his talent for presenting straightforward and elegant explanations of complex physical laws and questions.
Peter was an accomplished violinist and enjoyed participating in competitive sports. Peter’s father, Hans Thurnauer (1908-2007), established the family foundation, Noris Foundation, to support education and other worthwhile causes. Long before anyone heard of ‘globalization,’ Hans believed that students should broaden their educational experiences beyond their institutions, and particularly encouraged them to gain international experiences.
Indeed, after graduating from Carleton, Peter went on to obtain a PhD in Physics from Oxford University, England. After post-doctoral positions in La Jolla, CA and Rochester, NY, he joined the Physics faculty at the University of Vermont. Peter continued to play the violin and joined orchestras, such as the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra, in all the places that he lived.
The Peter G. Thurnauer Memorial Winter Break Programs Fund is established to honor Peter’s memory by facilitating the continuation of this important educational experience offered by the College.