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January Term: UVA in Ghana
Accra, Ghana; Cape Coast, Ghana; Kumasi, Ghana (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: January
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Restrictions: UVA applicants only
Budget Sheets January
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
January 2018 01-OCT-2017
10-OCT-2017 29-DEC-2017 10-JAN-2018
NOTE: Students offered admission to this program will need to commit by October 15th.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
none Housing: Hotel
Language Courses Offered: No Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Martha Sadler
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
African-American & African Studies
Program Description:

Called A Tour of the Book: Homegoing and the Challenge of Diasporas, this course will allow students to interact with some of the specific sociohistorical, cultural, and political contexts discussed in Yaa Gyasi’s award winning novel, Homegoing. In the course, students will rigorously engage with the text, traveling to the scenes and sites referenced in the book. These on-site activities will give students the opportunity to experience firsthand the continuing effects of what many scholars describe as the “afterlives of slavery and colonialism” and to record their experiences daily in a travel journal.  By being in these scenes, it is hoped that students will be inspired to articulate the ways in which history writes itself back into the present moment, a process, which Yaa Gyasi thematizes in her novel.

Course Objectives

  • Experience firsthand the continuing effects of what many scholars describe as the “afterlives of slavery and colonialism”.
  • Acquire a better understanding of terms such as “home” and “diasporas,” and the ways in which they are mobilized in the construction of identities.
  • Intercultural exchange as students will have the opportunity to interact with students and faculty from the University of Ghana, as well as locals at the sites to be visited.

Elmina Castle Tower

Based in Accra, we will travel to locations specified in Homegoing: Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Elmina, which feature prominently on the map of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Students will stay in centrally located hotels or lodges in each location, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.



A Tour of the Book: Homegoing
and the Challenge of Diasporas

(AAS 3559; 3 credits)

Course Information
This course is open to undergraduate students from all schools with a keen interest in African American and African Studies or related discipline.  Applicants to the program should have taken at least one course in African American and African Studies. Coursework activities, involving student faculty engagement, will be similar to the three-credit courses offered on grounds, including participation in oral discussion, essays, short reflection papers, journal entries, and blog posts.

Course Readings:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Saltwater Slavery by Stephanie Smallwood
Lose your Mother by Saidiya Hartman
Slavery at Sea:  Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage by Sowande Mustakeem

Information Sessions

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Passport and Visa Information
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program end date. US students will need a visa for Ghana; more information will be provided by the Education Abroad Advisor upon acceptance. Non-US passport holders should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.

Travel Health Information
Documentation of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Ghana. For more information about the yellow fever vaccine and other vaccines/medications, check out the CDC website:

Program director, Kwame Otu, is Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies. Dr. Otu’s research investigates the anthropologies of race, sex, and gender in the Black Atlantic, with specific focus on Ghana. At the Woodson Institute, he teaches Introduction to African American and African Studies (AAS 1010) and various courses on Africa and its myriad diasporas.

Professor Deborah McDowell,, Alice Griffin Professor of English and Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute.

This program is currently not accepting applications.