Dr. Cameron Gokee awarded NSF grant to conduct archaeological research in Bandafassi — a West African ‘shatter zone’
Edited by Jessica Stump
Posted May 6, 2019 at 11:35 p.m.
Original posted at Appalachian Today
BOONE, N.C. — During the next two academic years, Dr. Cameron Gokee, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Appalachian State University, will lead archaeological research to study how the Atlantic slave trade impacted social life in the Bandafassi region of eastern Senegal — a West African “shatter zone” where people fought, fled and/or joined the predatory political economies of neighboring states.
Gokee received $105,867 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the research project.
“Focusing on the Bandafassi region of eastern Senegal, this project will map historical changes and continuities in the social rules of inclusion and exclusion that defined who could be enslaved by whom, and under what conditions, over the past several centuries — before, during and after the rise of the Atlantic slave trade,” Gokee explained.
He said, largely, this research will “cast new light on the historical causes and consequences of a violent social rupture shared by both Africans and the African Diaspora (people born in the Americas with predominantly African ancestry).”
The project will foster innovative research opportunities for Appalachian students and public outreach collaborations with local communities, including the installation of a museum exhibit at a UNESCO World Heritage cultural center in the region.
“By exploring local responses to global processes over the long term, this research can also inform forward-looking approaches to U.S. political and economic engagement in rural Africa and other regions on the periphery of the modern world system,” he said.
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The Department of Anthropology offers a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world – past, present and future. With nearly 200 undergraduate majors, the department offers numerous research opportunities for students including field schools, internships, lab projects and independent studies at home and abroad. Students may earn B.A. and B.S. degrees with concentrations in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and social practice and sustainability. Learn more at http://anthro.appstate.edu
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