Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed awarded 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, has been named a recipient of a 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia, the fellowship provides funds for travel and related expenses for tenure-track faculty pursuing advanced scholarship, research and study.

Mohammed’s research project is titled, “Media and Decolonization: Re-righting the Subaltern Histories of Ghana.” With this funding, she plans to travel to several cities in Ghana, including Tamale and Accra, to conduct archival research, ethnographic observations and follow-up interviews to supplement research already done which will become a scholarly book.

Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden.
Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden. (Photo: Sarah Freeman)

“In this research project, I am interested in examining the silenced histories of media in African communities that have historically been shut out of their own representations,” said Mohammed.

“I am going back to my community in Ghana to learn more about the media cultures of the country to satisfy some of the curiosities I had growing up as a child,” she continued. “I will be examining content on mediums such as radio and TV, focusing on how they have served as a tool for marginalization and a site of resistance within this community.”

Mohammed will be spending time at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in Accra to sort through their archives and gather data to support the section of her book on technology and media development in Ghana.

Mohammed will also spend time at community gatherings to learn more about community relationships with media at the regional and national level. In Tamale, she will be hosted by the  Department of Communication, Innovation, and Technology of the University for Development Studies. 

“Growing up, I barely saw representations about me and my community in national media. This sparked my interest in media and the politics of media representation,” Mohammed said about what motivated her to pursue this research topic. “These experiences have inspired me to contribute to building knowledge in the field of media so that the people who come after me will have something to build on too.”

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed receives accolades at annual AEJMC conference

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, is receiving two awards for her paper, “Decolonizing Methodologies in Media Studies,” at the 2021 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference.

Additionally, Mohammed has been selected as a 2021 Kopenhaver Fellow, a program helping female faculty members through mentoring, networking and preparing for tenure and promotion.

Mohammed’s paper was inspired in part by her dissertation that she wrote while a doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University. A native of Tamale, Ghana, Mohammed studied sociocultural contexts where she collects feedback from women about the impact of films they watch and the news they listen to.

“I want to understand the way these women engage films, including what drew them to want to watch them and what they thought society’s impression was of the films,” Mohammed explained.  “I also wanted to see how their personal experiences and values shaped the films they watched and what they took away from those films.”

Mohammed is receiving first place in Faculty Paper Awards, also known as the Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition, as well as the Best Paper Award for African Journalism Studies in the International Communication Division.

In addition to the topic of the paper, Mohammed works hard to ensure her data is authentic, which can be difficult when studying marginalized communities. She obtains her data through customizing focus groups that mirror typical conversations that women have with one another. The goal is to obtain transparent answers from the women away from the patriarchal influence of men in the community.

“I pulled from the local indigenous knowledge systems to guide my engagement of this community as a whole,” Mohammed said. “I looked at the way we engage with each other on a daily basis and the importance of human dignity and respect regardless of class, ethnicity and gender.”

Another recent paper by Mohammed, “Why we need intersectionality in Ghanaian feminist politics and discourses,” received an honorable mention in the 2021 Stuart Hall Award at the International Association for Media and Communication Research conference earlier this summer. This paper mapped the evolution of feminist discourses in Ghana, paying attention to the gaps in feminist theory and practice.