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UCSB History Faculty Stephan Miescher’s book A Dam for Africa wins the Sidney M. Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology

Congratulations to Stephan Miescher who has been awarded the 2023 Sidney M. Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology, honoring A Dam for Africa: Akosombo Stories from Ghana (Indiana University Press, 2022). This prestigious prize is awarded to the author of the outstanding scholarly book in the history of technology written in the past three years.

A Dam for Africa investigates contrasting stories about how the hydroelectric Akosombo Dam across the Volta River transformed Ghana, while providing a model for other African countries. Miescher examines this transformation through four intersecting narratives, including how “Ghanaian debates and aspirations about modernization in the context of decolonization and Cold War; international efforts of the US aluminum industry to benefit from Akosombo through cheap electricity for their VALCO smelter; local stories of upheaval and devastation in resettlement towns; and a nation-wide quest toward electrification and energy justice during times of economic crises, droughts, and climate change.”