David Amponsah Named Presidential Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
David Amponsah, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, has been named Presidential Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. Amponsah came to Penn in 2018 from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he was Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. An accomplished scholar of religion and society in Africa and its diaspora, Amponsah’s first monograph, Fetish State: British Rule Shrine Priests, and Indigenous Religion in the Making of Colonial Ghana, is under contract with Cambridge University Press, and his work has appeared in the Journal of Africana Religions and is forthcoming from the International Journal of African Historical Studies. He is currently working on a second book project titled Enchanted Geography: India in the West African Popular Imagination, which is a social and cultural history of how and why Ghanaians and Nigerians came to construct India as a reservoir of potent supernatural powers beginning in the early part of the 20th century.
The Presidential Professorships are five-year term chairs, awarded by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann to outstanding scholars, whose appointments to the standing faculty are approved by the Provost and who demonstrably contribute excellence and diversity to Penn’s inclusive community.