Launched in 2017, the Woodson facilitates a study abroad program through the International Studies Office during the January Term. Called A Tour of the Book: Homegoing and the Challenge of Diasporas, the course allows students to interact with some of the specific sociohistorical, cultural, and political contexts discussed in Yaa Gyasi’s award winning novel, Homegoing.
Directed by professor Kwame E. Otu and co-taught with Deborah E. McDowell, the J-Term study abroad program has brought over 20 students to Ghana since its inception. During the course, students rigorously engage with the text, travel to the scenes and sites referenced in the book. The on-site activities give students the opportunity to experience first-hand the continuing effects of what many scholars describe as the “afterlives of slavery and colonialism.” Along with readings and site-visits, students in the course record their experiences daily in a travel journal. By being in these scenes and reflecting critically on their experience, students develop skills in articulating the ways in which history writes itself back into the present moment, a process, which Yaa Gyasi thematizes in her novel.
Visit the International Studies Office page for more information on how to apply.
J-Term class outside the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana
Students in an African drumming class in Accra, Ghana
J-term class with Kwame Otu and Deborah McDowell
Statue of W.E.B Du Bois at the Kwame Nkrumah Institute for African Studies