Monday 15 February, 1800-1930: Claire Nicolas, Kings College London

Representing self, sport, and country: Ghanaian student-athletes on a global stage, 1936-1991

In African history, scholars gave a special attention to men football’s mobility and diaspora, either from the perspective of economic migration or (post)colonial tensions. This research, focused on the life-courses of Ghanaian sporting students who joined British universities from the 1930s onwards, comes from a different perspective. Rooted in the history of education in West Africa, it aims at unfolding the relationships between these students and the colonialthen independant government.

Following previous works conducted in Ghana on local sporting movements, this new research project focuses on the way in which these young people embodied, appropriated and transformed the status of “informal ambassador” that was attributed to them by the colonial and then national authorities and as such, participated in shaping the Ghanaian sport movement as well as in building the image of the territory abroad.

Claire Nicolas recently completed her PHD at Lausanne University. She now holds a PostDoctoral grant from the Swiss National Research Fund, as a Visiting Scholar at King’s College London. In her research, she examines Sports, Gender and Citizenship in colonial and postcolonial West Africa.