Tastescapes in Ghana. Eating, tasting and culinary praxis in northern Ghana

Senses, particularly sense of taste, smell and touch, have long been neglected within the anthropological studies of senses, which long favoured vision and hearring as rich with cultural meanings. It is argued, that it was Sidney Mintz’s book „Sweetness and Power”, that changed the perception of so called „lower senses” and especially taste, from corporeal and natural to culturally meaningful, shared and socially created. It is this assumption that shapes this PhD project, entitled „Tastescapes in Ghana. Eating, tasting and culinary praxis in Northern Ghana”. It is aimed at establishing broadly seen cultural meaning standing behind daily food choices, changes of diets, intergenerational discourse of taste and taste narratives. Elusive and corporeal, the taste is ubiquitous in everyday life through conscious and unconscious decisions, it pervades economic circumstances, mobility routes, family dependancies and others. Food and food related narratives and practices become focal point of quotidian actions. In particular, this project is interested in generational change of food preferences, food security and sense-making practices, which shape the look of modern day Ghanaian plates.

Supervisor: <link de forschung professuren till-foerster external-link-new-window internal link in current>Till Förster
: to be determined


Marta Rudnicka is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Basel since 2017. She’s a member of Research Group on Visual Culture and Graduate School of Social Sciences. Marta studied Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. During her studies she participated in a number of academic and commercial research projects focused on mobility, non-material heritage and national costumes in Poland. She also completed a six month exchange program at the University of Oslo (Scandinavian and Textual Science) and a year-long exchange at the University of Basel (Social and Cultural Anthropology). During the latter exchange, in cooperation with Institute of Social Anthropology, she conducted field research in Côte d’Ivoire, which served as a ground for her Master thesis, revolving around socioeconomic conditions of small-scale manioc manufacturing. This research shaped her further interest in food production and consumption, which eventually led to establish her individual research project under supervision of prof. Till Förster. She conducts research in Tamale and Wa, Ghana.


Portrait von Martha Rudnicka

Marta Rudnicka
Ethnologisches Seminar
Münsterplatz 19
4051 Basel

Tel: +41 76 46 95 805