Title of Project: ‘Old parks, new futures: documenting the uses of open space in an African city’
Funder: The British Academy (TGC\200335).
Partner Institutions: KNUST (Ghana), University of East Anglia (UK) & University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Project Duration: Start Date: 01 March 2021 – End Date: 28 February 2023
Three highly motivated early career Ghana-based researchers are sought to be part of a project.
Old parks are the heart of many African cities. They suffer from poor maintenance, poor services and do not fit with the ambitions of urban planners. This project investigates the history and present-day use of Jackson Park, created in 1935 in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. These different uses of Jackson park are studied through three case studies titled: ‘GETTING VOTES’, ‘GETTING NOTICED’ and ‘GETTING BY’. Each of the studies consists of archival and ethnographic work.
STUDY 1 – GETTING VOTES
Study one focuses on the political uses of Jackson Park. It will be led by George Bob-Milliar (KNUST). Jackson Park is a site where people, past and present, go along to political rallies, Independence Day celebrations. It is a space where civic leaders deliver speeches, and where politicians seek votes. Study one investigates how ordinary citizens encounter politicians and other political actors in the context of Jackson Park. The key objective is to document the way an old urban park serves as a space of politics.
STUDY 2 – GETTING NOTICED
Study two focuses on the socio-cultural and entrepreneurial uses of Jackson Park. It will be led by Karen Lauterbach (University of Copenhagen). It looks at actors as diverse as businesspeople, sport associations, NGOs, churches, and musicians and how they use the park as a way to gain a following. The key objective is to document the way an old urban park serves as a space of civil society and business.
STUDY 3 – GETTING BY
Study three looks at how hawkers, petty-traders and rough sleepers use Jackson Park and what the park means to them in their daily lives. It will be led by Ben Jones (University of East Anglia). Of particular importance is the way actors, less visible, often seen as a nuisance in planning visions or development proposals, actually use and identify with the park. The key objective is to document the way an old urban park serves as a space for poorer, more marginalised urban residents.
THE JOB ENTAILS:
This is a part-time job, and it will entail the following:
- Undertaking an independent study within one of the three sub-project areas (indicate which one of the three you would be interested in and why)
- Training in methods, data analysis and writing
- Mentoring by one of three senior researchers
- Engagement in policy and advocacy work in collaboration with planners, community organisations, residents, policy makers, and other key stakeholders.
The successful applicant must meet the criteria below:
- Educational Qualifications (MA/MSc/MPhil/PhD research degree in any humanities and social sciences discipline) – Previous study of African history, sociology, politics, development studies are preferred.
- Research Experience and Training (fieldwork – archival and ethnographic work) – Previous experience in conducting archival research in PRAAD/Manhyia; research analysis and/or civil society engagement is preferred.
- Interpersonal Skills (Strong communication skills; an ability to engage audience attention and to establish relationships of trust with interlocutors)
- Other relevant Factors (Speaking/reading ability in Twi)
Applications should be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com by 4 pm on 1 February 2021.
These should include:
- A personal statement of not more than 500 words explaining why you are interested in this project; indicate which one of the three sub-projects you are interested and how you think your skills and experience are appropriate for the sub-project team.
- A two-page CV setting out your qualifications and relevant experience
- A sample work – (a chapter of MA/MSc/MPhil/PhD Thesis or working draft paper)
Those shortlisted as a result of this process will be contacted by Monday, 8 February 2021 and interviewed online on Monday, 15 February 2021.
All enquiries about the project should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com