Ghana in cocoa, cocoa in Ghana: a study of Theobroma cacao L. within its parameters of time
Research Area 3 – Objects, Traces, Mapping: Everyday Experience of Spaces
I approach the complex history, present and future of cocoa through the lens of a local scientific institution, applying the methods of symmetrical anthropology. Cocoa in Ghana has gradually reshaped not only the landscape, but also the kinship structure, from matrilineal to patrilineal. This transformation of Ghana through cocoa cultivation (but also of cocoa through Ghana) was driven fundamentally by global capitalism in its colonial form. While taking the otherness of a plant seriously, I will observe the general principles of objectification that weigh upon our common thought process and understanding of the world and the other. Through this approach I can better address not only postcolonial relationships and glocal scientific processes, but specifically also human prejudices about the world. The overall aim of the project will be to offer an original insight into the complex world of cocoa – the plant, crop and substance, without which “we cannot live”.
- 2019–:PhD in General Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague.
- 2019–2020: Art theory – College of Arts, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (Talent Fellow of Josef Hlávka Foundation, Czechia).
- 2015–2018: Philosophical Anthropology (MA requirements completed, promoted to PhD.), Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague.
- 2012–2018: Art History, Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University, Prague.
- 2015 MSc. Tropical Agriculture/Crop Science, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Science, Prague.
- 2012 BA. Theory of Culture, Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University, Prague.
- 2009–2011 Visiting student – Dept. of Philosophy/Anthropology. Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Faculté de Lettres et Sciences Humaines, France.
- 2015 Award from the Czech Ministry of Agriculture for the outstanding MSc thesis in the field of natural sciences and environmental protection. Thesis: Traditional use of medicinal plants among local healers in Bié province, Angola.
- Novotna, B., Duarte, M.C., Van Damme, P., Pudil, P., Mazancova, J., Polesny, Z. 2020. Medicinal plants used by ‘root doctors’, the local healers in Bié province, Angola. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 260: 112662. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.112662.
- Novotna, B., Duarte, M.C., Van Damme, P., Mazancova, J., Polesny, Z., 2021. Ethnomedicinal use of plants among local healers in Bie province, Angola, 2021, 22nd AETFAT Congress 2021, Livingstone, Zambia.
- Kyereko, B. 2020. Cocoa in Ghana, Ghana in Cocoa: Theobroma cacao L. within its parameters of time. Vienna Anthropology Days – Vanda 2020, Vienna, Austria.
- Novotna, B., Duarte, MC., Polesny, Z. 2015. Traditional use of medicinal plants among local healers in Bié province, Angola. Tropentag 2015. Berlin, Germany.
- Novotna, B., Alvarez, M., Musil, M. 2013. The Shepherdess. Ethnographic documentary movie screened at the Summer School of Ethnography film making, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic. https://vimeo.com/72180102.