Prof. Irene K. Odotei

Category: 
IIAS Fellows
Position: 
Senior Fellow

Professor Irene Odotei obtained her Ph.D. in History from the University of Ghana in 1972. That same year she was appointed a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, where she rose to become its acting director in 1998 after heading the history and politics section between 1985 and 1998. Professor Odotei is an expert on Ga oral traditions and traditional governance, Danish presence in Ghana, and chieftaincy. Her work has expanded to incorporate gender and household structures and economies, becoming an authority on artisanal fisheries in Ghana and along the coast of West Africa. She has held visiting research fellowships at several institutions including the Universities of Copenhagen, Leiden, Trondheim, Bergen and UCLA. She has been the project manager and coordinator of NUFU projects run jointly by Norwegian Universities and the University of Ghana, including the Asafo History Programme. She also served as the project manager and coordinator of the Chieftaincy, Governance and Development Project funded by the Ford Foundation. Professor Odotei is the author of several publications, including Sea Power, Money Power: Migration of Ghanaian Fishermen and Women to the Republic of Benin (2000); The Artisanal Marine Fishing Industry: A Historical Review (2002); and Royal Rites: Death, Burial and Installation of an Asante King (2001). Her film documentaries have reviewed the funeral of the late Asantehene (King of Asante) Opoku Ware II and the installation of the present Asantehene Osei Tutu II. Professor Odotei is currently the President of the Historical Society of Ghana and a Senior fellow of the International Institute for the Advanced Study of Cultures, Institutions and Economic Enterprise (IIAS).

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