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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2005

Miner To Address Researching Indigenous Knowledge In Ghana Feb. 17

"Researching Indigenous Knowledge: The Ethnographic Fieldwork of D. Michael Warren Among the Bono-Takyiman of Central Ghana" will be the focus of a lecture given by University of Iowa International Studies Bibliographer Edward Miner at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17. The lecture will take place at the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center (AAHMCC), 55 12th Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids.

Miner will discuss the theoretical, sociocultural and practical contexts of Warren's fieldwork, as well as the continuing significance of his intellectual work for international development.

The exhibit "Iowa in Ghana," currently on display at the AAHMCC, emerges from the dissertation fieldwork of D. Michael Warren in the Takyiman Traditional Area in the period 1969-71. A collaborative effort between the AAHMCCI and the University of Iowa Libraries, it presents a selection of the approximately 2,000 images that Warren took as he conducted in-depth, tape-recorded interviews with healers, traditional priests and chiefs of all ranks. Warren's research investigated generational changes in indigenous conceptions of disease and their treatment -- which necessitated that he undertake a comprehensive ethnographic description of Bono-Takyiman cultural practices and institutions as well.

"Due in part to his contributions, the field of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) research would by the 1990s move from the margins to the mainstream of international development discourse," Miner said.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Humanities Iowa Evening Lecture Series and is sponsored by the UI African Studies Program, University of Iowa Libraries, the AAHMCC and UI International Programs.

The lecture is being held in conjunction with the AAHMCC's exhibit "Iowa in Ghana: Dr. D. Michael Warren and the Bono of Takyiman," which opened Sept. 17 and runs through March 7, 2005.

The exhibit features 140 photographs of the Bono of Techiman taken by Warren and artifacts from the region and is being produced in collaboration with the UI. Topics included in the exhibit will be chieftaincy, traditional medicines, festivals, commerce, arts and religion. These photos are archived at the UI Libraries.

The exhibit preparation was a joint effort of the UI Libraries and the AAHMCC. This exhibit was made possible by a $180,000 grant obtained by UI International Programs from the Colleges and Universities Affiliation Program of the U.S. Department of State to develop a linkage between the UI and University of Ghana, Legon. The relationship between McNulty and the University of Ghana began in 1965 when McNulty researched his dissertation on Ghanaian urban structure and development. Programming in support of the exhibit is funded by a grant from Humanities Iowa.

Miner is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a doctorate in linguistics earned in 2001 and a master's degree in library science received in 2002. His dissertation, titled "Language, Ideology and Power in Uganda," was based upon fieldwork undertaken in Kampala, Uganda on language ideologies implicated in public discourses on national integration and development.

During his 2000-2001 tenure as Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in African Studies with the Indiana University Libraries, he became interested in digital librarianship and archives and their role in African development. He is currently International Studies Bibliographer (African, Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies) at the University of Iowa, where he is implementing a collaborative project with the University of Ghana - Legon to develop a shared digital collection of resources on Ghanaian history and culture. He also co-edits the Electronic Journal of Africana Bibliography.

For more information about the Warren Collection at the UI or special accommodations to attend the lecture, contact Miner, UI Libraries, at 319-335-5883 or edward-miner@uiowa.edu; or Susan Kuecker, curator, AAHMCCI, or Erin Thomas, education coordinator, at 319-862-2101, ext. 17.

The African Studies Program is a part of International Programs. UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu.