- A Farewell Note from the Editors
Readers can hardly be faulted for wondering if volume 22 of Ghana Studies is a double issue. In fact, it is a single issue, but one that is bursting at the seams with a wide variety of articles that really do speak to the intellectual diversity of Ghana Studies as a field. The issue kicks off with an important intervention in the field of migration studies by Joseph Assan and Dinar Kharisma. In their article "Political Economy of Internal Migration and Labor-Seeking Behavior of Poor Youth in Ghana," Assan and Kharisma argue that the intense focus on contemporary migration across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to southern Europe has obscured the degree to which young West Africans are migrating internally within their national borders in search of better employment opportunities. In "When Men Touch Women without License: Interrogating the Reasons for Women's Entry into Consensual Unions in Urban Accra, Ghana," Rosemary Obeng-Hinneh draws on in-depth interviews to argue that situational factors matter as much as the larger structural issues that tend to dominate scholarly understandings of why increasing numbers of women in Accra engage in relationships that approximate marriage but are not sanctioned by traditional norms and practices. Shifting our focus from Accra to Cape Coast, Kwame Labi's "The Posuban Is Our Pride: Maintaining and Modernizing a Tradition and Its Visual Language," explores how the renovation of asafo shrines and monuments reveals internal dynamics of change within asafo companies as well as inter-asafo dialectical practices. Our final two stand-alone essays turn to the domain of history, with Ben Talton arguing in his arrestingly titled article, "'Kill Rats and Stop Plague': Race, Space, and Public Health in Postconquest Kumasi," that the 1924–25 outbreak of bubonic plague in the city can be fully understood only through an intersectional analysis that brings together global histories of disease, empire, and capitalism. Sarah Kunkel's "Taxation without Resistance: Native Treasuries in the Northern Territories," deploys a nuanced analysis of the implementation, adaptation, and outcome of taxation to show that rather than clarifying colonial power relations in the Northern Territories, taxation obscured them. [End Page 1]
Volume 22 is also home to a powerful special forum, edited by Ebony Coletu and titled "Reframing the Reach of Archaeology in Ghana: Commemorating James Kwesi Anquandah (1938–2017)." As the special forum's title suggests, the group of stellar essays, written by Coletu, Rachel Ama Asaa Engmann, Kwasi Ampene, and Mohammed Mustapha and Wazi Apoh, demonstrates the incredible influence Anquandah had as both a scholar and a mentor in shaping the trajectory of contemporary archaeology in Ghana and its attendant methodological and epistemological innovations. Exemplifying the potential for intellectual synergy between Ghana Studies and the Ghana Studies Association's sponsored panels at the African Studies Association, this special forum began as a set of papers honoring Anquandah's life and legacy at the 2018 ASA meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Volume 22 is capped by our review section, which features our first-ever review of an art exhibition, Ghana Freedom, the country's debut pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, by Benjamin N. Lawrance; and Jesse Weaver Shipley's review of Voices of Ghana: Literary Contributions to the Ghana Broadcasting System, 1955–57, edited by Victoria Ellen Smith.
This volume marks the end of our three-year editorial term, which comes with the opportunity to make way for a new set of editors who will continue to ensure the journal's vitality. Over the last three years, we have introduced a number of important innovations that we believe have enhanced the journal's offerings and broadened its remit. These include "From the GS Vault," which introduces readers to seminal essays that have appeared in back issues. Readers will note that this feature is absent from volume 22. We simply did not have room to accommodate it, thanks to the embarrassment of riches that makes up the content of this volume. We also resuscitated the journal's episodic review section, and we have made a special commitment to ensuring that the vibrant work of musicians and creative artists...