Alice Wiemers (PhD, Johns Hopkins University), assistant professor of history at Otterbein University in Ohio, is a 2013–14 Kellogg Institute visiting fellow. A specialist in sub-Saharan Africa, she studies 20th-century economic and social history, with a particular focus on development policy and practice.
For her Kellogg project, Wiemers is developing a book manuscript, “Development, Authority, and Family in Northern Ghana, 1942–2012.” The project traces 70 years of development practice in West Africa through a microhistory of Kpasenkpe, a small town in northern Ghana that has served as a development node for successive colonial and post-colonial governments. (In 2011, it was identified as part of the newest “Millennium Village.”)
In a historical approach to contemporary development debates, Wiemers examines how the long-term influx of state and international development resources has shaped patterns of political and social life. She argues that political meanings of development have been negotiated through exchanges of labor and recognition between intermediaries and funders, between chiefs and constituents, and within family networks.
Before attending graduate school, Wiemers served as a research analyst for the United Nations Millennium Project. She will bring her first-hand knowledge of West Africa and development policy to bear in an undergraduate course in the Department of History.