Miriam is a researcher, educator, and practitioner in the field of anthropology, with specializations in international development, participation and partnership building, and intersectional gender analyses. Miriam’s research has focused on development initiatives in West Africa and she has ten years of experience working and researching in the region. Miriam is joining the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship and will be under the supervision of Dr. Blair Rutherford. Miriam will be working on an ethnographic study of the meaning and significance of fair-trade designation for smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana, with an emphasis on the non-financial and non-economic importance of fair trade. The project, entitled "“Cocoa! Good, Good, Good!”: The significance of fair-trade cocoa farming in Ghana", aims to strengthen our understanding of the motivations of fair-trade farmers as well as their challenges, which will better elucidate the significance of fair-trade globally, especially given recent admissions from fair-trade cocoa organizations that their farmers make well below a living wage.
Miriam holds a PhD in Anthropology, collaborative with Women and Gender studies, from the University of Toronto (2021), where she was the recipient of a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Trained in ethnographic and qualitative research, Miriam’s doctoral thesis explored the everyday dynamics of successful (and failed) partnerships between civil society, government, and private sector organisations in Ghana. Miriam's thesis argued the counterintuitive point that mistrust can sometimes be useful in building partnerships, as practices of mistrust help to navigate ethical positions and unequal power structures that arise within collaborations.
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