The Rural-Urban Interface: Statistics and Stories

Monday, April 30, 2018  10:00am The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated

On April 30th, 2018, the Center for the Study of Social Difference will sponsor a conference discussing a work in progress on “The Rural-Urban Interface: Gender and Poverty in Ghana and Kenya, Statistics and Stories.”

The morning session from 10:00am-1:00pm will feature a presentation of work by Helen Yitah and Aloysius Denkabe, Professors of English at the University of Ghana-Lagon; and Wanjiru Gichuhi, Professor of Population Studies at the University of Nairobi, followed by a discussion with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and Ben Baer, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. The discussion will be moderated by Reinhold Martin, Professor of Architecture at Columbia University.

The afternoon session from 2:00pm-4:00pm will feature responses from Mary Marshall Clark, Professor of Oral History at Columbia University, and June Cross, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. The discussion will be moderated by Brent Edwards, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. 

The “Rural-Urban Interface: Gender and Poverty in Ghana and Kenya, Statistics and Stories” project is an Africa-led research endeavor that brings together the humanities and the social sciences. Professors Yitah, Denkabe, and Gichuhi have for the past three years been conducting interviews with rural-to-urban migrants in Accra and Nairobi. The entire effort is an enhancement of current interviewing techniques by harnessing the humanities for “development.” We look at ways to combine qualitative knowledge with quantitative knowledge in a manner that highlights the real, impactful capacity of situated stories, narratives, and oral histories articulated by actual participants in these large-scale transformations. The gaps and contradictions that emerge give an opportunity for imaginative entry into what it means to be an African entrant into the next megalopolis. 


By Semester