Boateng Awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Jazz Studies PhD student Samuel Boateng has been awarded a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. The fellowship supports a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing. 

ACLS (American Counsel of Learned Societies) has named 72 fellows this year, selected through a multi-stage peer review process from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. Each fellow receives an award of $43,000 to support the final year of dissertation research and writing. In addition, fellows participate in a career development seminar to help them prepare for postdoctoral opportunities within and beyond the academy

Boateng will spend his fellowship year working on his dissertation Jazz Ghana: Historical Perspectives, Transnational Routes, Space, and Sustainability.

According to Boateng,

“A key tenet in the field of jazz studies since the 1980s has been the demystification of the myth that jazz is uniquely American. Building on this anti-essentialist jazz narrative, this project explores Ghanaian jazz discourses, practices, and histories as culturally and politically charged arenas within which notions of Black diasporic solidarity, cultural sustainability, decolonial epistemologies, and cosmopolitan imaginaries are nurtured and articulated. This project draws from a combination of archival resources as well as ethnographic interviews conducted with jazz musicians, fans, club owners, journalists, and cultural institutions in Ghana in order to challenge the canonical understandings of jazz history and development, which is often characterized by an ideology of exclusion that minimizes or ignores jazz practices beyond America’s borders. While Ghana is the primary field of investigation, this project also takes a transnational approach to understand how wider musical networks in Britain and United States have impacted Ghanaian jazz.”

Congratulations to Sam Boateng on receiving this prestigious fellowship!