Nana Abena Dansowaa Amoah

Nana Abena Dansowaa Amoah

Ph.D. Student


Bachelor of Music, University of Ghana, Legon

Master of Philosophy, Ethnomusicology, University of Ghana, Legon

Research Interests

cross cultural studies: African American and African Diaspora literature; representation of women in popular music; black religious music; black women musicians; diet/keeping in shape


I am from Ghana and have been studying here in IUB since August 2010. I studied music for my undergraduate studies and started my Master’s degree at the University of Ghana. During my second year, I won a scholarship to University of Hannover in Germany to research and write my master’s degree thesis (known as dissertation on that campus).

In my one-year fellowship in Germany, I taught students introduction to African studies and African Drumming. In returning to Ghana, as a research assistant with the Center for Gender and Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA), an affiliate of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. There, I embarked on these projects: “Changing Representation of women in Popular music” and “ Ghanaian women Entrepreneurs in rural areas in Ghana”, which were sponsored by the World Bank. I also taught at the University for two years prior to my travel to the U.S. to start my Ph.D. studies. So far, I have enjoyed my stay at IU, but I am still trying hard to make it my second home considering the difference in weather and the food we eat locally.

Currently I am an Associate Instructor (AI) for African American and African Diaspora Literature course in the AAADS Department. So far, it has been very productive. I love sharing knowledge and this puts me in the right position. I have also been in the African American Choral Ensemble since I arrived at Indiana University (IU), and it is an experience I could not have afforded to miss. I always make sure that I put on a smiling face because it takes away all my stress.

Courses Taught

  • University of Ghana: Introduction to African Studies, African Music and African Traditional Instruments (Drums).Graduate Assistant: International Centre for African Music and Dance / Emeritus Prof J. H. Kwabena Nketia Archive.
  • Indiana University, Bloomington: Associate Instructor: Groups Theatre Program (Summer 2011), African American and African Diaspora Literature (Fall 2011).
  • Associate Instructor (AI)- A131-Fall 2011 - A132- Spring 2012
  • Associate Instructor (AI) A150. Survey Culture of Black Americans. Fall 2012 to date
  • Co-instructor -- 2013 Study Abroad Program to Ghana 'A Transatlantic Experience; Studying the Triangular Trade' for the Office of the VP for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. Traveled with Students to Ghana and the United Kingdom for a month, May 8- June 8.
  • Co-Instructor -- two-week workshop 'African Arts in Education: African Music and Dance,' for the Department of African Studies. June 4-1, 2012 & June 17-28, 2013.
  • Associate Instructor, Groups Theater Program. June 2013
  • Organized a two-week workshop: ‘African Arts in Education- African Music and Dance’ African Studies Program. IUB. June 4 – 15, 2012.
  • Associate Instructor –Groups Theatre 2012


  • “Africa Today”, a refereed journal, in the September 2011 issue: Book Review Essay:
  • Ampofo, Akosua Adomako, and Signe Arnfred, editors. 2010. AFRICANIST FEMINIST POLITICS OF KNOWLEDGE: TENSIONS, CHALLENGES, AND POSSIBILITIES. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.
  • Michael Jindra and Joel Noret. Editors. Forward by Jan Vansima. Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon. Oxford and New York: Berghan Books, 2011; 264. ‘African and Asian Studies, Volume 12, Issue 1-2. Publication Year 2013.

Conference Papers

  • Games and Play Songs in Ghana: ‘Their Impact on the Ghanaian Child’ Kano, Nigeria. October 2010
  • An Investigation of African American Music; ‘Is it African Enough’
  • Sounds of Evolution: A study of ‘Osibisaba’ Highlife and ‘Folk Spirituals’ of Africa and Africans in the Diaspora. ASA Conference, Washington DC. Nov 2011
  • She looks cute on Stage: Ghanaian Women musicians keeping in Shape and Talking Health. Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference, 1&2 ND July 2012. Cedarville, Ohio.

Book Reviews

  • Aissata G. Sidikou and Thomas A. Hale Eds. 2012. Women’s voices from West Africa. An Anthology of Songs from the Sahel. Indiana University Press. Bloomington and Indianapolis.
  • Charry Eric 2012. Ed. HIP HOP AFRICA: NEW AFRICAN MUSIC IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. Indiana University Press. 404.pp.

Honors and Awards

2005- Volkswagen Foundation- One year Fellowship in University of Hannover, Germany.
2010 – Three year Fellowship by IUB for PhD study.
2011 - Conference Grants from AAAD
2011- Office for Women Affairs (OWA)- Travel Grant
2011-2012: College of Arts & Sciences Travel Award
2012- African Studies Research Grant

Professional Organizations

  • African Studies Association, USA
  • National Council of Black Studies (NCBS)
  • African Third World Societies (ATWS)