Jennifer Hart is an Associate Professor of African History at Wayne State University, where she also serves as a coordinator for DHatWayne and an instructor for the African Democracy Project. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Religious Studies and Global Studies Programs at Wayne State.
Hart’s research on the history and culture of automobility in Ghana has been published in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, the International Review of Social History, and African Economic History. Her first book, Ghana on the Go: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transportation (Indiana University Press, October 2016), traces the ways in which African drivers and passengers in Ghana appropriated motor transport technologies to craft unique cultures of automobility that simultaneously spoke to the local needs and values of entrepreneurs and the increasingly global debates about the meaning of mobility, technology, and autonomy in the 20th century. By exploring the occupational histories of African drivers and passengers and the shifting contestations over motor transport policy in colonial and postcolonial Ghana, Hart argues that automobility defined African experience of the relatively rapid political, social, economic, and cultural transformations of the 20th century. Hart also writes on her blog, www.ghanaonthego.com. She tweets at @detroittoaccra and @accramobile.
Hart’s scholarship addresses a number of overlapping themes, including urban history, technopolitics, labor, infrastructural politics, urban planning, and development. She is currently developing a digital humanities project, Accra Wala, in partnership with faculty at the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities at Michigan State University and Ashesi University and partners at the Agence Francaise de Developpement. She is also beginning a new book project on the history of urban planning and the politics of urban culture in 20th century Accra.
Hart holds a PhD (2011) and MA (2007) in African History from Indiana University-Bloomington, and a BA (2005) in International Studies and Philosophy from Denison University. Before arriving at Wayne State University, Hart taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Goshen College. Her work has been funded by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship, and she has served as an Eisenberg Institute Fellow at the University of Michigan.
For more information, see her recent-cv.