Photo of Louise de la Gorgendière

Louise de la Gorgendière

Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Degrees:PhD (Cambridge)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2589

Areas of Interest

Research and Teaching Interests: Diaspora; transnationalism; development and underdevelopment; Sub-Saharan Africa; Ghana; education; HIV/AIDS; ethnopolitics.


Louise de la Gorgendière, Associate Professor in Anthropology, arrived at Carleton University in July 2001.  Immediately after graduating from Cambridge University in 1993 with her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, she held a dual academic-consultancy post in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, where she was based until 2001. Her teaching and research have focused on development and underdevelopment, HIV/AIDS in Africa and women’s rights, the social anthropology of Asante, contemporary ethnopolitics in sub-Saharan Africa, education and development, and more recently, on the Ghanaian diaspora in Canada. During the period of 1993-2001 in Edinburgh, Louise served as a Social Development Adviser for the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID). She also has carried out consultancies for the International Labour Organization and United Nations Development Program (ILO/UNDP) – (in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso), and in 2000, she was appointed by DFID (UK) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE, Paris) to serve as their social development-gender specialist for a final evaluation of the French Project to Support Basic Education in Burkina Faso. She is currently conducting research with members of the Ghanaian diaspora in Canada, and their links to development in Ghana. She has supervised a number of M.Sc., M.A. and Ph.D. theses on Africa.


2005 ‘Rights and Wrongs: HIV/AIDS research in Africa’. Human Organization, the Journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Volume 64, Number 2 (Summer 2005): 166-178

2002 Jobs for Africa: The Way Forward. Co-authored with Guy Mhone and Achi Atsain. Geneva & New York: International Labour Organization and United Nations Development Program
2000a Mission d’Evaluation Finale du Projet d’Appui a L’Enseignement de Base du Burkina Faso. A Report on the Joint DFID-French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) Evaluation of a French funded Education Project (P.A.E.B.) in Burkina Faso with J Barry, K Ilboudo, J Nacabal, & B Suchaut, Paris: CIEP/MAE.

2000 Report for DFID on Joint British-French Evaluation in Burkina Faso: Lessons and Recommendations. London: DFID Evaluation Department.

1999 ‘Women’s life stories and the next generation in Ghana: Educate a woman .’ Social Analysis 43(1), 53-72.

1996 ‘Ethnicity: A Conundrum’. In L. De La Gorgendière, K. King, S Vaughan (eds.) Ethnicity in Africa: Roots, meanings & implications. Edinburgh: Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

1996 De La Gorgendière, L. and K. King, S Vaughan (eds.) Ethnicity in Africa: Roots, meanings and implications. Edinburgh: Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

1996 ‘Akua’Ba – la poupée de fertilité Asante, autrefois et aujourd’hui’ Le Griot. Kumasi, Ghana: Revue en Français publiée au Département des Langues de l’Université de Kumasi (UST) avec le concours de L’Ambassade de France au Ghana. (Trans. C Owusu-Sarpong)

1995 ‘When you educate a woman, do you really educate a nation? Females and education in Ghana.’ In Proceedings from The International Conference at the University of Cambridge on ‘The case for girls’ education in sub-Saharan Africa’ July 1995. Cambridge: CAMFED & African Studies Centre, University of Cambridge

1995 Factors which may contribute to stable HIV seroprevalence of women in Kimpese, Bas Zaire.  Pilot study report from field research in Zaire. London: Health and Population Division, Overseas Development Administration (UK Government)

1995 Participation: Challenges and Practices 10-12 July, Edinburgh. Final Report on ODA-NGO Workshop. East Kilbride: ODA

1994 Report on a Review Visit to ODA Co-Funded NGO Projects in Brazil, 4 – 27 July 1994. London & East Kilbride: ODA

1992 ‘Asante Residence: Searching for Norms’. In: J. Sterner & N. David (eds.) An African Commitment. Papers in Honour of PL Shinnie. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. (pages 87-103).


2007 “Ghanaian Associations in Canada: Motivation and cooperation for development at home and abroad”. AEGIS European Conference on African Studies: African alternatives: Initiative and creativity beyond current constraints. African Studies Centre, University of Leiden, Netherlands.

2007 “Walking a Tightrope: Ghanaian balancing acts and the tensions of Diaspora (un)engagement, obligations and rights”. Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Conference: Rethinking Rights in Africa: The struggle for Meaning and the Meaning of Struggle. University of Toronto.

2006 “Diaspora and development: Ghanaian migrants in Canada and the ties that bind”. Canadian Association of African Studies Conference (CAAS), Marriott Chateau Champlain, Montreal.

2005 “Sites for inclusion and exclusion: Ghanaian migrants and transnational citizenship”. Canadian Association for Studies in International Development (CASID) Conference, Federation of Arts and Humanities, Congress – University of Western Ontario, London.

2004 ‘GAD writ large and small: Experiences of a DFID consultant’.  Paper presented at the International Women’s Studies Symposium, Whither GAD? Re-Examining Gender and Development, University of Ottawa.

2004 “Anthropology and multi-sited fieldwork: Changes in the field”, Wolfson College, Oxford University, UK.

2003 “Rights and Wrongs in HIV/AIDS Research in Africa”, Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), Panel on Ethics in Research in Developing Countries, Congress 2003, Halifax.

2003 “Out of focus: Job opportunities and poverty reduction strategies in Africa’s poorest countries”. Paper presented at the Public Workshop entitled ‘Households, Labour and Social Relations’. Carleton’s Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University.

2001 “HIV/AIDS Research in Africa: Ethical issues and methodological dilemmas.” Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa.

2001. “HIV/AIDS Research in Africa: Considering Women’s Reproductive Rights.” Association of Social Anthropology 2001 Conference on Reproductive Rights, University of Sussex, U.K.

2000 “International Cooperation for Social Development: Experience from Burkina Faso. French and British Cooperation.” IRFD’s International Forum for Social Development, Geneva 2000, UN World Forum on Social Development, Geneva, Switzerland.

1999 “The Interface between ‘Traditional Leaders’, Civil Society and the State in Ghana.” Seminar Paper, Department of Social Studies, University of Central Lancashire, U.K.

1998 Race and Ethnicity Social Issues in the New Britain, Modern Studies Association National Conference, University of Edinburgh.

1998 Postcolonial identities and education in Ghana. Paper at the ‘Postcolonial Identities and Education’ Conference, International Centre for Cross Cultural Research (ICCCR), Manchester University.

1998 Foreign Debt and Development Issues in Ghana: Talk for Jubilee 2000, University of Edinburgh.

1997 Tackling Development in Ghana: What role for traditional leaders? Department of Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews.

1996 Multi-disciplinary work in overseas development. Anthropology in Action Conference, Edinburgh.

1996 Anthropology and development work. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Hull.

1996 The Department of Social Anthropology’s Consultancy Work for the Overseas Development Administration (ODA). Talk given at 50th Anniversary Alumni Day, Department of Social Anthropology, Edinburgh.

1995 Anthropological insights into health and development. Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh.

1995 “When You Educate a Woman, Do You Really Educate a Nation?”, International Conference on Education for Girls in Africa, Cambridge Federation for Education and Development (CAMFED) and African Studies Centre, Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

1995 “Incorporating Empirical Research into the Social Anthropology Undergraduate Programme”, Teaching and Learning Anthropology Conference, Middlesex University, November.