Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa

The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is based on a German-Ghanaian research collaboration between the University of Ghana and four German partner institutions: University of Freiburg, Goethe University Frankfurt, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and German Historical Institute Paris (GHIP). The Institute is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the University of Ghana. The BMBF-sponsorship is part of the Maria Sibylla Merian programme which supports the internationalisation of the social sciences and humanities in Germany.

MIASA offers short-term residential fellowships (3-12 months). Fellows meet at the MIASA bungalow at the the University of Ghana on Legon Campus in Accra and benefit from the intellectual echange among each other. In addition, MIASA organizes a wide range of academic events, including the MIASA Lecture Series, the annual Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture, internal conferences, writing and publishing workshops. One international conference per year is organized jointly with the Point Sud programme at different sites across the continent. The institute supports an open access policy.

The overall goal of MIASA is to strengthen the role of African research in the social sciences and humanities in the global scientific community. The institute is committed to reducing asymmetries in knowledge production as well as to strengthening female scholarship. Moreover, MIASA encourages intellectual exchange across existing boundaries: across disciplines, across different countries and academic cultures, and across established and younger researchers.

Researchers at MIASA come from different disciplinary backgrounds. While governance has often been related to political sciences and sustainability to social, economic and ecological studies, MIASA also embraces anthropology, history, literature, linguistics, philosophy, cultural studies, gender studies, and environmental humanities along with sociology, political science, social geography and economics. Other disciplines are included when the topic calls for it, for instance archaeology in relation to the topic of restitution. Connecting to this broad range of disciplines shapes the way of how sustainable governance is considered and allows for developing new research questions on MIASA’s main and sub-themes.


Susann Baller

Susann Baller (German Historical Institute Paris, GHIP) is Director 'Germany' at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) in Accra. Until December 2020, she was academic director of the transnational research group "The Bureaucratisation of African Societies" (GHIP-CREPOS) in Dakar. Before, she was a lecturer and research fellow in Berlin, Basel, Paris and Ann Arbor. Susann Baller holds a PhD in African history and is specialised in the history of African cities, youth, sports, decolonization and the representation of power in West Africa.

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