I started this 'African Diaspora" group as a means of engaging with others about my own research with Ghanaians in Canada, to learn about what others might be doing in this area of study, and to share ideas, debate, etc.. My own research is multi-sited (western and eastern Canada, smaller to very large urban centres), and I am just embarking on the second phase of this study. My interests are varied, but life histories and people's links to 'home' (and development) are central. Eventually, a third phase of this research project will be carried out in Ghana. I have been involved in conference panels with others in the UK and elsewhere in Europe also interested in African diaspora research - but I have met very few anthropologists at these fora. It would be great to hear from others about their interest in African diaspora research.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Louise,

I should have replied to this since but I apologise. A friend and colleague wrote his PhD dissertation on Ghanaian migrants in Germany. I dont know whether that is something you might be interested in. I should actually invite him to OAC.

Olumide.
Hi Olumide

Thanks for the reply and nice to meet you through OAC. Yes, do invite your friend to join. At the AEGIS 2007 conference in Leiden, I met a few folks working with Ghanaians in Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands and Spain. There are interesting similarities and differences in these varied locations and, more particularly, in the approaches we take to such research. As I noted before, most of these studies were not in anthropology - but rather political science, geography, political economy, social work. It would be interesting to hear about your friend's study.

Cheers, Louise
Louise,
I'm glad you started this group. I also didn't find many others who were studying African Diaspora (I looked in the U.S.) when I was conducting my research from 2003-2005.

I conducted a pilot study of South Africans who live in Colorado (USA). The majority of my 36 informants were white, so I examined experiences of apartheid in two white ethnic groups (Afrikaners and English-speakers) who came of age during two different phases of apartheid (1958-1978 and 1979-1993). I focused on three issues: experiences of being white, the culture of apartheid, and immigration. I found nine important themes in the interviews, which I discuss at length in my thesis. I also interviewed a few (I was not able to find very many) black and colored (mixed race) informants to understand their perceptions of whiteness (and white people) and their experiences of apartheid and immigration. My goal w.r.t. whiteness was to address the question of whether or not essential characteristics of whiteness exist, cross-culturally, based on a history of whiteness-as-domination (from whiteness studies literature). I apply Bourdieu's practice theory to whiteness studies to address this question.

I became very ill at the end of my master's degree, so I was able to finish my thesis and graduate but I have since then had to focus on my health (and work part-time at home as I am able). I am very glad to find OAC and have a chance to connect with other anthros again!

Would love to hear from others who have researched Africans abroad, particularly white Africans. Many issues come up re: how they integrate into predominantly white, western countries; whether their capital comes with them or not and how this impacts their country of origin; what their responsibilities are or what they perceive them to be w.r.t. their country of origin (in light of colonialism and privilege, etc.)...And in the case of SA, the number of people who are now going back to SA!

Christine Weeber
Hi Christine

Thanks for your note to the Africa Diaspora group - I have been away and just noticed your post. I find your study interesting. - About three years ago, we had an Anthro MA student at Carleton who focused his research on white S African immigrant doctors in Saskatchewan - but this is the only study I am aware of in Canada. The doctors were enticed by bonuses to work in small rural areas, but the stories did not all end up happily, as some moved elsewhere and others returned to SA.

I hope that you are able to get back into your Anthropology studies again one day - and I am delighted to hear that OAC is opening a door to that possibility.

All the best
Louise
Louise,
Thanks for your message. It's great to meet you.
Do you know if the MA student published any papers on his research? I'd like to find out more.
Cheers,
Chris

Louise de la Gorgendiere said:
Hi Christine

Thanks for your note to the Africa Diaspora group - I have been away and just noticed your post. I find your study interesting. - About three years ago, we had an Anthro MA student at Carleton who focused his research on white S African immigrant doctors in Saskatchewan - but this is the only study I am aware of in Canada. The doctors were enticed by bonuses to work in small rural areas, but the stories did not all end up happily, as some moved elsewhere and others returned to SA.

I hope that you are able to get back into your Anthropology studies again one day - and I am delighted to hear that OAC is opening a door to that possibility.

All the best
Louise
HI Chrstine

Sorry for the delay - but I did not get a notice by email about this message - and I have been travelling - so off OAC for awhile. I have sent an email to my colleague who supervised the student to give me the student's name and thesis title, and will send it to you when I get that info. You ought to be able to look up the thesis on line (MA Anth Carleton university).

Cheers
Louise

Christine Weeber said:
Louise,
Thanks for your message. It's great to meet you.
Do you know if the MA student published any papers on his research? I'd like to find out more.
Cheers,
Chris

Louise de la Gorgendiere said:
Hi Christine

Thanks for your note to the Africa Diaspora group - I have been away and just noticed your post. I find your study interesting. - About three years ago, we had an Anthro MA student at Carleton who focused his research on white S African immigrant doctors in Saskatchewan - but this is the only study I am aware of in Canada. The doctors were enticed by bonuses to work in small rural areas, but the stories did not all end up happily, as some moved elsewhere and others returned to SA.

I hope that you are able to get back into your Anthropology studies again one day - and I am delighted to hear that OAC is opening a door to that possibility.

All the best
Louise
Hi Christine
I finally tracked down the student's name and thesis title - 2005 Loewen, David P. (David Patrick).
Title Imagining prairie community: the settlement and retention of South African physicians in rural Saskatchewan / David P. Loewen. Carleton University, MA Thesis
Publisher Ottawa, c2005.

This should be accessible online through the National Archives of Canada (and Carleton 's library)
Cheers
Louise
Christine Weeber said:
Louise,
I'm glad you started this group. I also didn't find many others who were studying African Diaspora (I looked in the U.S.) when I was conducting my research from 2003-2005.

I conducted a pilot study of South Africans who live in Colorado (USA). The majority of my 36 informants were white, so I examined experiences of apartheid in two white ethnic groups (Afrikaners and English-speakers) who came of age during two different phases of apartheid (1958-1978 and 1979-1993). I focused on three issues: experiences of being white, the culture of apartheid, and immigration. I found nine important themes in the interviews, which I discuss at length in my thesis. I also interviewed a few (I was not able to find very many) black and colored (mixed race) informants to understand their perceptions of whiteness (and white people) and their experiences of apartheid and immigration. My goal w.r.t. whiteness was to address the question of whether or not essential characteristics of whiteness exist, cross-culturally, based on a history of whiteness-as-domination (from whiteness studies literature). I apply Bourdieu's practice theory to whiteness studies to address this question.

I became very ill at the end of my master's degree, so I was able to finish my thesis and graduate but I have since then had to focus on my health (and work part-time at home as I am able). I am very glad to find OAC and have a chance to connect with other anthros again!

Would love to hear from others who have researched Africans abroad, particularly white Africans. Many issues come up re: how they integrate into predominantly white, western countries; whether their capital comes with them or not and how this impacts their country of origin; what their responsibilities are or what they perceive them to be w.r.t. their country of origin (in light of colonialism and privilege, etc.)...And in the case of SA, the number of people who are now going back to SA!

Christine Weeber
Wonderful! Thanks so much Louise!
Cheers,
Christine

Louise de la Gorgendiere said:
Hi Christine
I finally tracked down the student's name and thesis title - 2005 Loewen, David P. (David Patrick).
Title Imagining prairie community: the settlement and retention of South African physicians in rural Saskatchewan / David P. Loewen. Carleton University, MA Thesis
Publisher Ottawa, c2005.

This should be accessible online through the National Archives of Canada (and Carleton 's library)
Cheers
Louise
Christine Weeber said:
Louise,
I'm glad you started this group. I also didn't find many others who were studying African Diaspora (I looked in the U.S.) when I was conducting my research from 2003-2005.

I conducted a pilot study of South Africans who live in Colorado (USA). The majority of my 36 informants were white, so I examined experiences of apartheid in two white ethnic groups (Afrikaners and English-speakers) who came of age during two different phases of apartheid (1958-1978 and 1979-1993). I focused on three issues: experiences of being white, the culture of apartheid, and immigration. I found nine important themes in the interviews, which I discuss at length in my thesis. I also interviewed a few (I was not able to find very many) black and colored (mixed race) informants to understand their perceptions of whiteness (and white people) and their experiences of apartheid and immigration. My goal w.r.t. whiteness was to address the question of whether or not essential characteristics of whiteness exist, cross-culturally, based on a history of whiteness-as-domination (from whiteness studies literature). I apply Bourdieu's practice theory to whiteness studies to address this question.

I became very ill at the end of my master's degree, so I was able to finish my thesis and graduate but I have since then had to focus on my health (and work part-time at home as I am able). I am very glad to find OAC and have a chance to connect with other anthros again!

Would love to hear from others who have researched Africans abroad, particularly white Africans. Many issues come up re: how they integrate into predominantly white, western countries; whether their capital comes with them or not and how this impacts their country of origin; what their responsibilities are or what they perceive them to be w.r.t. their country of origin (in light of colonialism and privilege, etc.)...And in the case of SA, the number of people who are now going back to SA!

Christine Weeber

Hi Louise, I'm carrying out a research on the Ethiopian evangelical and pentecostal diaspora in Canada. My main focus is on music. Don't hesitate to send me a message if you are interested in sharing ideas. Best, Hugo

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