E. Kofi Agorsah, Professor (MA., Ph.D.)
Project Director/Principal Investigator
Black Studies & International Studies
Chair Black Studies, Portland State University,
Currently a full professor of Black Studies and International Studies at (PSU), Oregon. Formerly keeper of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (1973-1978) and served as lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Ghana (1983-1987). As the Edward Moulton Barrett Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica (1987-1992) Kofi initiated research and teaching programs in Archaeology at for the first time at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and established the UWI Mona Archaeological research project (UMARP), which subsequently developed the Maroon Heritage Research Project (MHRP). He also served for four years as the Vice President of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology (IACA) and also as Chair of the IACA Code of Ethics Committee. As a member of the Board specialists of the African Burial Ground Project (ABG) of the City of New York, Kofi contributed related archaeological, ethnographic and other material and analytical framework and interpretative data on Africa and the African Diaspora. Research activities since the launching of the Volta Basin Archaeological Research Project in 1981 have brought together Africa and the African Diaspora. Kofi’s archaeological endeavor continues to merge material from the Caribbean, South America, West Africa and the Indian Ocean through consultations, active field projects and publications. Other synergistic activities include: consulting in the archaeological investigation of Maroon Sites in Mauritius for the University of Mauritius & Mauritius National Museum, Fort Louis, Mauritius (2002-04); Visiting Professor, Archaeology Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa (1999-2000); Member/Consultant and Guest Speaker Association of Brazilian Anthropologists (1996); Board Member, African Caribbean Institute Jamaica (A.C.I.J.) (1991-93) and of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (J.N.H.T.) (1991-93). He also directed several Earthwatch, USA expeditions in Ghana and Jamaica and Project Director, Maroon Heritage Research Project (MHRP) in Jamaica and Suriname since 1992 and 1995 respectively. Kofi is the Project Director/PI of the Kormantse Archaeological Research Project (KARP).
The partnership between the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and PSU solidified by a 2007 Fulbright Fellowship grant and the participation of UCC students in KARP prepared the way for more substantive cultural and educational exchanges, further collaboration and partnerships. These have also solidify public outreach and link with traditional leaders and consequently wielding a positive impact on community’s understanding of the region’s colonial history and connection with the Diaspora. Main partners include the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and particularly the Cape Coast Castle Historical Museum CCCHM), which will incorporate material from the Kormantse excavations in the permanent exhibition, University of Cape Coast represented by Dr. Frimpong-Nnuroh, and the Embassy of the USA in Ghana, as educational partners. The local Assemblies of the Kormantse area have been the main link with the Chiefs and elders, who have and continue to actively participate in the project. Responsibilities: As PI, Kofi is responsible for the project administration, scientific design, research analysis, reporting and publications and making sure that multiple data sets are eventually properly put together and in the right formats and also used to facilitate cross-validation of results and providing interdisciplinary interpretations and sharing of all project results (Archaeology, Oral traditions, History and Ethnography). For more information www.pdx.edu/blackstudies or www.maroonheritage.pdx.edu. See CV.