Greene, Sandra Elaine

Stephen ’59 and Madeline ’60 Anbinder Professor of African History


My research interests have ranged widely over the past forty (40) years, from the study of gender and ethnic relations in West Africa, to the role that religious beliefs, warfare,  and the experience of slavery have played in the lives of individuals and communities in eighteenth and nineteenth century Ghana. Most recently, I have focused on constructing the biographies of both ordinary and extraordinary women and men from southeastern Ghana. I do so to bring to life their hopes and joys, their fears and concerns, at a time when both slavery and the slave trade were still aspects of daily life, and when colonialism was also altering how these individuals, and so many others, understood the world in which they lived. An integral aspect of my research has involved  the exploration and expansion of the methodological tools that historians can use to uncover the histories of those time periods and areas of the world in which documentary sources are scarce.  I have applied historical linguistic methodologies to the historical study of cultural change, collected and interpreted oral traditions and oral histories, and employed literary close reading techniques and contextual analyses, as well as insights from anthropology and psychology to extract the most from the limited sources that are available on the history of West Africa. I find such a broad and inclusive approach both energizing and rewarding. 


Spring 2017 Course Syllabi:

HIST 6000 Graduate Research Seminar

Geographic Focus