On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Harrington School of Communication and Media will be hosting a forum for communication studies professor Vanessa Quainoo to share research on interpersonal communication in Ghana.  

The forum, titled: Asomdwee: The Practice (Praxis) of Peace in West African Conflict Management, will take place at the URI Multicultural Center at 3:00 p.m. and is open to anyone wanting to attend.

Harrington School forums feature professors, staff and even students of communication studies wanting to share research or information on a topic which they have received recognition for.

“This is in keeping with black history month and the Harrington School wanted to incorporate African American history,” Quainoo said.

Quainoo teaches COM202, COM441 and the graduate class COM540G. She has been teaching at URI and sharing her knowledge with students for well over 25 years now. Quainoo has presented her research at the University of Ghana as well as several conferences over the last ten years.

Quainoo greatly looks forward to presenting her research and believes that the sharing of knowledge is important.

“This will be the first time I will be presenting this particular type of research,” Quainoo said.

In 2018, Quainoo got back from an eight day conference in Ghana, which she will talk about in her presentation.  The research that will be presented at this forum has been ongoing, as Quainoo traveled to Ghana every year for the last four years.

“I have been researching community contexts and interpersonal research,” she said.

Quainoo gathers her research through interviews as well as ethnographic research, which entails spending extended periods of time with a specific family. She visits certain families from year to year whom she has already observed, but each trip to Ghanda offers new subjects for her research.

This lecture will present ideas of communication and conflict management that people in attendance can learn about and apply to their personal life.

Scott Kushner, professor of Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island, is an organizer of the forum.

“The forum is the Harrington School’s ongoing series of lectures and events that touch on all aspects of communication, media, and culture,” said Kushner. “Some of our events feature visiting scholars and media professionals. Others feature URI faculty, students, and staff. These events also give the school exciting opportunities to partner with other groups around campus; we’re doing just that for this talk, which is co-sponsored by the Program in Africana Studies and the Multicultural Student Services Center.”

The Harrington Forum approached the Program of Africana Studies regarding cosponsoring the forum due to the events connection to West African notions of peacemaking. Kushner says that “It seemed to us to be relevant to the work that they do in that program”.

Kushner, like many, awaits the forum Wednesday with anticipation.

“I’m so looking forward to Professor Quainoo’s talk on Wednesday, as it promises to challenge some of our most basic notions about conflicts, resolutions, and the possibilities of peace,” he said.