Grace Naa Korkoi Okine

Graduate Student


I am a historian studying economic, social and diasporic relations in postcolonial West Africa, particularly focusing on commodities including palm oil and fish to understand how transnational economic networks, business connections and communities are sustained via trade in and beyond West Africa. I am also interested in using the palm oil industry in postcolonial Ghana as a lens of economic analysis to examine women’s initiatives, entrepreneurship, roles and agency in national development.


Professor Judith Byfield

Professor Sandra Greene


Specifically, my research focuses on African diasporas in Africa and Brazil. In analyzing palm oil as an Atlantic commodity, I seek to highlight the influence of West African palm oil as a significant provision that sustained enslaved Africans on board slave ships through the middle passage, as well as, creating a legacy of foodways by African descended people in Brazil via the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. Moreover, the Ghanatown in Gambia enhances my curiosity about migratory fisheries and how transnational communities are sustained via commodities, freedom of movement and right to trade in newly independent countries in West Africa. I hope to explore contexts of citizenship including passports and other immigration processes for sea travel across the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa.