Faculty: Oduro-Frimpong, Joseph (PhD)

Senior Lecturer
Humanities and Social Sciences

  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (2012).
  • MPhil, Human Communication (Interpersonal), Central Michigan University (2005).
  • MA, Information Studies (Archives Administration), University of Ghana, Legon (2002).
  • BA, English & Linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon (2000). 

Teaching Statement

Stand-up comic pedagogy informs my teaching.  This approach entails having a relaxed but serious classroom setting. Here, I use seemingly mundane experiences to underscore class discussions, illuminate theoretical concepts and connect with key issues. In my classroom, I encourage students “to challenge, engage and question the form and substance of the learning process.” (Giroux 2001: 202).

Courses taught at Ashesi University:

  • African Popular Culture 
  • Written & Oral Communication
  • Text and Meaning
  • Introduction to African Literature
  • Introduction to African Philosophical Thought

Areas of Research Interest

Media Anthropology, African Popular (Visual) Culture, Urban Ghana, Intercultural/Interpersonal Communication 

Employment History

Ashesi University College (September 2012 – Present)
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (Full time Assistant Professor)
Courses Taught:
Written & Oral Communication
African Philosophical Thought
Text & Meaning
African Literature
Ghanaian Popular Culture
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (August 2004 – May 2012)
Graduate Hall Director (2004-2007)
(Mae Smith Hall); (Schneider Hall); (Abbot Hall)
Department of Anthropology (Graduate Instructor of Record)
Courses Taught:
Introduction to Anthropology (Four-field)
America’s Diverse Cultures
Peoples & Cultures of Africa
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (August 2007 – December 2007)
Department of Anthropology (Adjunct Faculty)
Courses Taught:
Introduction to Anthropology (Four-field)
Peoples & Cultures of Africa
Saint Louis University, Missouri (August 2007 – December 2007)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology (Adjunct Faculty)
Courses Taught:
Introduction to Anthropology (Four-field)
Race & Ethnicity
Central Michigan University (August 2002- July 2004)
Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts (Graduate Instructor of Record)
Course Taught:
Introduction to Speech Communication


2016 – Awarded an African Humanities Program (AHP) fellowship for journal manuscript development workshop in Tanzania. The aim of the week-long workshop was to allow senior colleagues from other African universities coach young scholars on technicalities of crafting journal articles for publication.

2015 – Was selected as an ACLS/ASA (African Studies Association) Presidential Fellow to attend and present my research at the 2015 Annual ASA meeting in San Diego. One of the aims of the Fellows Program, established in 2010, is to invite outstanding Africa-based scholars to also spend time at African Studies programs/centers in the U.S. 

2014 – Awarded an AHP post-doctoral fellowship, the first of its kind to be won by a faculty of a private university. This fellowship, under the aegis of The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation, allowed me take a year’s leave to focus on completing my research on the role popular media genres in Ghanaian democratic politics. To achieve this objective, I spent three months at Rhodes University and three months at the University of Cape Town. 

Research Collaboration

I am a collaborator (together with eight colleagues from South Africa) on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded research project titled “Urban Connections in African Popular Imaginaries”. This three-year funded project (2016-2019) is concerned with African popular modes of representation and interpretation, and especially with the ways in which local specificities and global imaginaries are articulated through popular genres. It seeks to engage critically with various knowledge productions that are embedded in local cultural forms. The project’s home is at the Department of English, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

2017 - Semiotic Silence: Its’ Use as a Conflict-Management Strategy in Intimate Relationships. Semiotica, 167:285-308.

2016 - Glocalization Trends: Examining the Case of Hip-Life Music in Contemporary Ghana. International Journal of Communication, 1085-1106.

2015 - Semiotic Silence in Intimate Relationships. Journal of Pragmatics 43(9), 2331-2336.

2014 - ‘Not a Cedi Tied to Their Names’: Sakawa Rituals and Cyberfraud in Ghanaian Popular Video Movies. African Studies Review, 57 (2), 131-147.


Peer-reviewed Book Chapter

2014 - “Better Ghana Agenda: On Akosua Cartoons and Critical Public Debates in Contemporary Ghana”. In Popular Culture in Africa: The Episteme of Everyday, edited by Stephanie Newell and Onookome Okome, 131-154, New York, NY: Routledge.

Encyclopedia Entries

2011 - Music and Dissent: Ghana & Nigeria. In Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movements Media (pp. 346-347). Los Angeles, LA: Sage Publications.

2012 - African Video Films & Political Critique. In Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movements Media (pp. 407). Los Angeles, LA: Sage Publications

2013 - White Supremacists’ Tattoos as Alternative Media. In Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movements Media (pp. 536-537). Los Angeles, LA: Sage Publications.

Book Reviews

2015 - Review of ‘Ghanaian Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History’ Cinema Journal: Transformative Works and Cultures, 54(2), 151-154.

2016 - Review of ‘Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa’ Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 32(2), 138-140.

Other Publications

2016 - (co-authored with Anyidoho, N.A., Addoquaye, T.C., Adjei, M., Appiah E., Banin, Y.A., Owusu, A., Torvikey, D.) Shakespeare Lives in Ghana: Roles, Reresentations & Perceptions of Women in Contemporary Ghanaian Society. A Report Commissioned by the British Council Ghana.

2012 - Being Too Known. Dust Magazine, 46-47.

2013 - Ghanaians & Uncomfortable Issues. The New Legon Observer, 2(13), 16-17.

Accepted & Forthcoming (Peer Reviewed)

“This Cartoon is a Satire: On Ghanaian Cartoons’ & Sociopolitical Discourse in the Fourth Republic.” In Political Cartooning in Africa, edited by Tejumola Olaniyan and Peter Limb. University of Michigan Press.

“Glocalization and Popular Media: The Case of Akosua’s Political Cartoons in Contemporary Ghana.” In Global Perspectives on Culture and Communication: A Reader, edited by Tom Nakayama and Jolanta Drzewiecka. Peter Lang Publishers. 

Conferences & Presentations

2016 Conference
Ghana Studies Association’s ‘Global Ghana’ Conference, University of Cape Coast, 6-9th July 2016.
Paper Presented: None.
2015 Conferences & Presentations
58th African Studies Conference, San Diego: 19th -22nd November 2015.
Theme: ‘The State and the Study of Africa.’
Paper Presented: On ‘Political’ Photoshopped Images in Ghana’s Democratic Discourse
6th European Conference on African Studies, Paris: 8th -10th July 2015.
Theme: ‘Material Culture of Politics’. Session abstract: http://www.ecas2015.fr/material-culture-of-politics-contestation-resistance-revolt/).
Paper Presented: ‘Photoshop Politics in Ghana’s Fourth Republic’.
2014 Conferences & Presentations
113th American Anthropological Association Conference, Washington D.C., 3rd - 7th December 2014
Theme: ‘Producing Anthropology’
Paper Presented: “Political Cartoons as Glocal Media” to the panel “Media, Ideology and Power.”
57th African Studies Conference, Indianapolis: 20th – 23rd November 2014.
Theme: Rethinking Violence, Reconstruction and Reconciliation
Panel Chair: African Popular Arts and Social Transformation
Paper Presented: “Ahomka Leave: On Akosua Cartoons and Localized Democratic Discursive Practice in Ghana” to the panel African “Popular Arts and Social Transformation”.
2013 Conferences & Presentations
6th Annual Linguistics Association of Ghana Conference, University of Cape Coast, 2013. Paper “Better Ghana Agenda?”: On Akosua Cartoons and Critical Public Debates in Contemporary Ghana’.
56th African Studies Conference, Baltimore: 21st-24th November 2013.
Theme: Mobility, Migration & Flows
Paper Presented: None.
Invited Institutional Presentations
African and United States Institutions
2015 “Mediations of Cultural Beliefs & Practices in Ghanaian Obituary Posters”. Department
of Anthropology, Rhodes University, South Africa.
2015 “On Ghanaian Cartoons and Popular Politics in Ghana”. Department of English, Rhodes University, South Africa
2015 “This Photoshop Nonsense Must Stop”: On Aspects of Ghanaian Material Politics. Presented at Postgraduate Seminar Series, Center for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town (See report: http://cfms.uct.ac.za/postgrad-seminar-series-this-photoshop-nonsense-must-stop/).
2015 ‘Ghanaian Perspective on Media and Citizenship in Africa’ – Media and Citizen Workshop, University of Cape Town. (See report: http://cfms.uct.ac.za/media-and-citizenship-workshop/).
2015 “This Photoshop Nonsense Must Stop”: Mediation of Partisan Political Sensibilities in Ghana's Fourth Republic. Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University (http://www.ru.ac.za/jms/jmsnews/photoshopnonsense.html).
2015 “What a Shock!”: On Civic Activism and Resistance in The Black Narrator’s Cartoons. Department of African Languages and Literatures. University of Wisconsin, Madison
2015 "What a shock!": On Popular Media and Resistance in Contemporary Ghana's Democratic Culture. College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University (http://calendar.tamu.edu/?eventdatetime_id=26867).
2015 “On Informal Modes of Civic Agency in Africa” - Institute of African Studies, Columbia University (http://www.ias.columbia.edu/event/africa-workshop-joseph-oduro-frimpong-university-ghana).

Curated Exhibitions

(17th October – 8th November 2015): ‘Buy Africa’: A Celebration of Felabration Posters. Alliance Francais, Accra. Media coverage:http://graphic.com.gh/entertainment/events/51411-felabration-comes-to-accra.html.
(3rd August- 2nd September 2015): “Married but Available” – An exhibition on Ghanaian hand-painted barbershop and beauty salon signs. Alliance Francais, Accra. (Varying media coverage:http://graphic.com.gh/entertainment/showbiz-news/47611-married-but-available-exhibition-opens-in-accra.html;https://www.modernghana.com/music/31404/3/married-but-available-exhibition-ghanaian-barbersh.html.
(24th April – 8th May, 2015): “Album Covers Recollection” - An exhibition that showcases cover art on Ghanaian highlife music albums (Flyer Cover: http://www.goethe.de/resources/files/pdf35/Brochure_May-June_Final2.pdf; Newspaper announcement:http://graphic.com.gh/entertainment/music/42251-album-covers-exhibition-opens-in-accra.html ).
(March 15 – 5th April 2015): “This Cartoon Is a Satire” – An exhibition on Ghanaian political cartoons featuring Anadan, The Black Narrator,Daavi and Makaveli. Rhodes University Library, Grahamstown, South Africahttps://www.facebook.com/RhodesUniversityLibrary/posts/825037604212119).
(January 15- 8th February 2015): “This Cartoon Is a Satire” – An exhibition on Ghanaian political cartoons featuring Anadan, The Black Narrator, Daavi and Makaveli.https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/01/17/cartoon-is-satire-exhibition-opens-in-accra/; http://www.ashesi.edu.gh/stories-and-events/1931-satirical-cartoon-exhibition-highlights-art-as-a-tool-for-civic-engagement.html).
(20th March -23rd April 2014): Ghanaian Hand-Painted Movie Posters. An exhibition on some of the actual posters (as well as commissioned ones) used to advertise movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and Hong Kong. Alliance Francais, Accra; Alliance Francais, Kumasi.
(February-June 2014): Exhibition titled “Leadership” at the Ashesi University Library, which consisted of three paintings of former president Mandela and one piece of the late BBC journalist Komla Dumor. 


Communication, Culture & Critique (Special Issue: Africa, Media, Globalization)
Journal of African Cultural Studies (Special Issue: Afro-Superheroes)
Legon Journal of Humanities

Professional Membership

African Studies Association (ASA)
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Ghana Studies Association (GSA)
International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)

Some of the Journals I Read



Report Problems

You are our eyes and ears. If you see something broken or malfunctioning, please report it immediately.


Phone Extension:

Room 105, King Engineering Building

Incident Reports
Campus Incident Reports