Osei-Opare’s article tells a new history of the Cold War, of Ghana’s early postcolonial foreign policy, and the formation of Ghana’s national identity through its diplomatic, economic, and migratory relationship with the USSR during Kwame Nkrumah’s government (1957–66). Through examining English and Russian sources from American, British, Ghanaian, and Russian archives, this article offers three arguments. First, by analyzing Soviet anxieties over its role in Ghanaian affairs, the article shows that Ghana significantly controlled the economic and diplomatic contours and pace of its relationship with the USSR. Second, that discourses of race and neocolonialism were more central to defining the terms of Ghana’s geopolitical positioning than the Cold War framework. Third, the virulent racism Ghanaians experienced in the United States and USSR helped forge a global Ghanaian national consciousness. The article illuminates an independent black state’s attempts to procure sovereignty against a white supremacist economic and political international order and calls for Cold War scholars to engage seriously with African archives alongside non-African ones to create more dynamic, representational historical accounts.
In this new series, “What is Global History at Fordham,” we will hear from members of Fordham’s Global History consortium on what global history means to them and how it shapes their work.
Today, we begin with Professor Asif Siddiqi.
“As a historian of science and technology, global history is neither world history nor is there one single version of it. Instead, my research is focused on highlighting the many globally connected histories of science and technology. Instead of looking at (for example), German science or a Japanese nuclear reactor or a Russian satellite, our approach would consider larger concepts such as mobility or waste or infrastructure and reconstruct their global manifestations and changes across time and space. Our teaching will give you the tools to investigate, research and write your own version of a globally connected history.”
You can follow Prof. Asif Siddiqi on Twitter @historyasif
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Fordham’s own Dr. Asif Siddiqi recently spoke to New Books Network about his latest monograph, The Red Rockets’ Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination 1857-1957 (Cambridge University Press, 2013) in which he examines the long history of space travel in Russian culture. Click here to listen to the full interview at the New Books Network website.
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