My research emphasizes the centrality of historical discourse about new media in Africa for understanding the lasting impact of racial capitalism in media theory. Methodologically, I draw on archival research, oral histories, ethnography, and film and textual analysis, to contributes to emerging debates in film and media studies, the history of global communications, and post-colonial science and technology studies.
My dissertation analyzes the history of media technologies in anglophone West Africa from the early twentieth century to the present. Each chapter analyzes representations of a different media technology—gramophones, cinema, television, and mobile phones—at the time when they were new. Through an engagement with African studies, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies, my dissertation addresses a recurring deficiency in the history and theory of new media. By reorienting the emphasis from historical moments of invention, which tacitly privilege Euro-American ontologies of new media, to the analysis of the adoption and adaptation of media technologies, my research shows how the world is structured by new media use in Accra as much as it is by new media design in Silicon Valley.