February 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm

History Ph.D. Student Secures Grant to Support Research in The Gambia

Sana Saidykhan, portrait

Sana Saidykhan

Sana Saidykhan, doctoral student in the History Department, recently secured a research grant jointly administered by The Gambia’s National Centre for Arts and Culture and Germany’s The Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Saidykhan plans to use the funds, totaling 2,500 euros, to support his preliminary dissertation research in The Gambia this summer. Provisionally titled “‘The Power of Karengak’: Ecology and Society among the Jolas of Foni, Gambia,” his dissertation project explores the intersections of colonialism, development, and environmentalism.

Saidykhan’s research in The Gambia this summer will focus on the document collections of the Gambian National Archives in Banjul, the digital and oral collections of the National Council for Arts and Culture Research and Documentation Division, and oral history interviews in the Foni District.

The Gerda Henkel Foundation concentrates its support on the historical humanities, mainly on history, archaeology, the history of art and other disciplines with a historical component. For a number of years, the Foundation has also increasingly addressed issues of great relevance to contemporary life and the future, above all as part of its special programmes “Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements” and “Security, Society and the State.”

The National Centre for Arts and Culture is a semi-autonomous institution established by an Act of Parliament in December 1989 to preserve, promote and develop Gambian arts and culture.

Saidykhan is writing his dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Assan Sarr, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department. Saidykhan earned his M.A. in History, with a Certificate in Contemporary History, from Ohio University in 2018, having completed an originally researched thesis titled “The Only Good Crocodile Is A Dead One”: Contradictions in Conservation Policies and Agricultural Activities in the Gambia, 1938 -1965.”

For more on the History Department’s graduate program, visit the department website.

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