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Carola Lentz Elected New President of Goethe-Institut

Carola Lentz, professor of Anthropology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, has been named the new President Elect of the Goethe- Institut. She was elected unanimously by the Goethe-Institut`s Board of Trustees at its meeting in September 2019.

Carola Lentz has been a research associate of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana and has conducted fieldwork in Ghana since the late 1980s. For many years, her research focus was on the Upper West Region, particularly the Dagara and Sisala peoples, where she investigated the dynamics of labour migration, colonial history, land rights and settlement history, ethnicity, chieftaincy and cultural festivals and, more recently, the emergence of a middle class. Since the year of Ghana’s 50th anniversary celebrations, she has been engaged in research on national celebrations, especially the Independence Jubilees, and examined, more generally, the politics of commemoration, including the history of the Nkrumah monuments.

Throughout her affiliation with the Institute, she regularly presented her findings in lectures and seminars at the Institute, and benefited greatly from discussions with Junior and Senior colleagues. She has also deposited many of her field materials in the Institute’s archive, including translations of hundreds of interviews on the settlement history in the Black Volta Region in Ghana and Burkina Faso. She is currently working on a collaborative book project, together with Isidore Lobnibe, a Ghanaian anthropologist and Professor of Anthropology in the US, on the history of remembering in the extended Ghanaian-Burkinabé family into which she was adopted in 1987. In recognition of her research on cultural institutions and her merits in promoting academic cooperation, the late Nandom Naa Dr Puoure Poube Chiir VII awarded her the chieftaincy title of a “Maalu Naa” of the Nandom Traditional Area in 2013.

Carola Lentz will take over the office of the sitting president Klaus-Dieter Lehmann from November, 2020. The Institute of African Studies warmly congratulates her and wishes her a successful tenure at the Goethe-Institut.