Kelly Wright '14
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Major: English Literature
Senior Study Title: “No Ordinary Wind: Ghanaian Linguistic Identity within the English Superstructure”
Advisor: Dr. Samuel Overstreet
This thesis describes Ghanaian nation building through Kwame Nkrumah’s vision in an effort to understand how and where language is connected to identity, specifically addressing how a modern African identity is limned in the English language. Moving forward, education models are described, revealing how instruction differs in a setting where a multiplicity of languages are present and the unique set of challenges an equitable model faces in such a zone. Today, Ghanaian mother tongue education models are making the best of a complex, fluid situation, but spaces for development in indigenous languages present themselves outside of the academic sphere. These spaces are literary, and this work views African literature as identity development on the page. African literature production swelled in the early 1960s, immediately following Ghana’s independence, and tracing its thematic and linguistic development aids in viewing contemporary Ghanaian identity and its relation to the English superstructure through the bramble of circumstance which had it shrouded.