Mechanised Mining, Infrastructure, and the Evolution of Gold Coast’s Urban Space, c. 1900-1957

My research project takes an overarching inspiration from recent conceptual debates about planetary urbanisation, particularly the notion of extended urbanisation. Extended urbanisation has not only returned scholarly reflections about the ‘urban’ to the so-called urban question, but has provoked critical responses from urban theorists/researchers to the formulation of planetary urbanisation while inspiring insightful works relating to mining and politics. It is at the intersections of emergent debates that this paper is situated. By exploring the history of mechanised mining in Gold Coast, it (a) responds to calls to empirically ground the central claims under extended urbanisation; (b) deconstructs the dichotomy that persist in how histories of mining in the Gold Coast have been formally cast to represent mining districts as ‘tropical estates’ exploited by the distant/disconnected metropole (c) by reading urban space as simultaneously fragmented (physical geographies) with intimate links to global capital flows that facilitated industrial resource extraction in colonised territories; (d) reinterpret how infrastructure—meaning the medium and frame that—orient the capacities of unequal people to shape the processes and form of urban extension.

Supervisor:Kenny Cupers

Co-Supervisor: Julia Tischler 


Ernest Sewordor is interested in urban and architectural history and has previously researched Basel Mission encounters in the Gold Coast/Ghana. Before joining Urban Studies in the University of Basel in Fall 2018, Ernest held Graduate and Teaching Assistant responsibilities in the Department of History and University Studies Abroad Consortium respectively (both in the University of Ghana), and actively worked with professors like Jesse Weaver Shipley (Prof. of African and African American History, Dartmouth College, U.S.A.) as a Research Assistant. These experiences mainly exposed him to academia and informs his aspiration to become an African urban historian.

His B.A. and M.Phil. degrees—both in History—were earned from the University of Ghana between 2010 and 2017.

Portrait Ernest Sewordor G3S 2018

Ernest Sewordor
Urban Studies
Spalenvorstadt 2
4051 Basel