Associate Professor of History
Professor Sackeyfio-Lenoch holds a Ph.D. in African history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a specialization in West Africa and the history of Ghana. She teaches courses on pre-colonial and modern African history. With a focus on social and political history, her research examines how African actors and the institutions they created have engaged with internal processes of continuity and change while adapting to address the profound forces of modernity, colonialism and other global dynamics of the twentieth century.
Her first book, The Politics of Chieftaincy: Authority and Property in Colonial Ghana, 1920-1950 examines critical junctures and transformations in the history of local Ghanaian institutions during the first half of the twentieth century. The study explores larger questions of power, authority and conflict by tracing the ways in which Africans reworked local epistemologies and practices to engage with and resist powerful internal and external influences in a growing urban setting. As colonial rule intersected with grassroots politics in the colonial capital, Accra, the removal of chiefs, succession disputes, and litigation became powerful sites of conflict and disruption. Sackeyfio-Lenoch demonstrates that these sites of conflict were also innovative spaces for Accra’s residents to negotiate the sociopolitical and economic changes of the period. Disputes opened new arenas to engage in dialogue and debates around the efficacy of chieftaincy and the meaning of property and its alienation during colonial rule.
She is currently working on a second book project that explores the transnational and global networks and alliances that Ghana’s new citizens formed and contributed to during the national-building years of the late 1950s and 1960s. The study traces how those networks and alliances informed the thinking and projects that Ghanaian men and women sought to develop in their homeland during the late colonial and early independence era.
The Politics of Chieftaincy: Authority and Property in Colonial Ghana, 1920-1950 (University of Rochester Press, Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora Series, 2014).
"Decolonization, Cold War Dynamics and Nation Building in Ghana-Asia-Relations: 1957-1966." Forth coming in The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 49 (2016).
“The Politics of Land and Urban Space in Colonial Accra,” History in Africa, 39 (2012): 293-329.
Works in progress
Global Ghana, Itinerant Citizens and the Making of a New Nation, 1957-1966, Book-length Project