News Archive 2009-2018

Bowdoin’s MacEachern on Link Between Colonialism and Famine on NPR Archives


Scott MacEachern

Professor of Anthropology¬†Scott MacEachern said the colonization of what is now Ghana by Britain in the nineteenth century was likely a contributing factor to the famine which regularly affects part of the region. Quoted on NPR’s food blog “The Salt,”¬†MacEachern was responding to a study recently published by Northwestern University archaeologist Amanda Logan.

Logan said her archaelogical research suggests there was no food insecuritiy in the Banda district of west-central Ghana before the mid-nineteenth century, despite severe droughts. So what changed? Well, for one thing, she says, local industry was all but wiped out as Banda was incoroporated into Britain’s Gold Coat colony, and this had a negative effect on the district’s ability to cope with food shortages.