Heath Anthology in Use Overseas: Ghana
by Professor LaRene Despain
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Professor LaRene Despain, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, took copies of the Heath Anthology with him to Ghana. His comments and course syllabus follow.

"I must say that teaching from the new Heath Anthology is a revelation. I've learned an immense amount. I've been teaching American literature for more than twenty years, but I've had to prepare for my classes this year as if I were a novice. I've loved it. And. maybe you can imagine how interesting and moving it has been to read slave narratives with students here in Ghana which, as you know, was one of the centers of the slave trade. I have been able to visit one of the slave castles at Elmina here, and it's quite an experience. I have a Fulbright colleague here who is studying the effect of slavery on present-day Ghana, and she is finding interesting stuff. Slavery here predates the Europeans, though the local variant was much more benign if such a word can be used in such a context. Sometimes (often, I guess) slaves became part of the family and their descendants are still in the extended family groups.

Other aspects of the text have been equally stimulating here. For example, when reading the material on the 19th Century women's movement, one of the students said that some of the attitudes and conditions of women talked about in those essays are still prevalent in Ghana.

Thank you again, not only for these copies of the text, but for the text itself. I have marked many writers whose work I want to know more about whom I first heard of in that text. I am very glad l am using it and very glad that I can leave copies of it here; where they will be used over and over."

Contents, No. VIII