Janet Kwami received her BA in Publishing Studies from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and M.Phil. in Communication Studies from the University of Ghana, Legon. She studied at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a graduate exchange student and received her Ph.D. in Communication and Society from the University of Oregon. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Kwami’s academic interests include international communication, media studies, digital and social media, women and gender studies, ICT4D, communication for social change, media in Africa and research methods. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, information and communication technologies and socio-economic development. Her current research explores social inequity, and the a​ppropriation, use and impact of digital technologies in the global South, particularly in Ghana, West Africa. She has received a multi-year National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant to study how marginalized communities in Africa and China self-organize with digital tools.

Dr. Kwami’s professional experience spans a wide variety of roles in the field of mass media including advertising, public relations, multimedia production and research design.

She has published articles and research reports in peer-reviewed venues such the International Communication Gazette and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. She teaches in the Film Studies interdisciplinary minor and is an affiliate faculty member at the Shi Center for Sustainability.​

Name Title Description


Digital Communication

The use of digital, electronic media in the cultivation of democratic society. Students will gather information and learn to transmit that information through blogs, podcasts, video, and other digital media.


Intro to Mass Communication

The nature and history of mass communication. Beginning with oral communication and the literacy revolution and moving to print, electronic, and digital forms of communication. Examining the social, economic, political, legal, and cultural aspects of mass communication, as well as the role of technology in the development of mass media.


Media Criticism

Critical methods used to analyze the mass media and popular cultural texts. The theoretical basis of such critical methods as semiotics, psychoanalysis, narrative and ideological theory, and cultural studies, and how to use these methods to analyze media texts such as television shows, movies, and magazine advertisements.


Mass Media Research Methods

Introduction to mass media research methods. Develops understanding, critical thinking, and provides practice in research related to mass media, including the principles and basic techniques of mass communication research and the application of results. Students will create a research proposal related to various mass media messages, audiences, and institutions.


International Communication

A survey of the different media systems in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Oceania. Exploring the basic characteristics of media philosophies, reporting, content and audience in each world region, and discussion of the impact of media globalization which includes: 'westernization' of the media, clash of cultures, transnational media conglomerations, new technologies, and other elements.


Lenses on Africa

Explores the African continent through film, focusing on critical social issues and ongoing transformations of social orientations and values. Explores a range of key African filmmakers, taking into account the historical, cultural and social contexts that inform their work. Provides an introduction to African filmmaking practices by focusing on both the form and the content of these films, and by examining the way that African filmmakers project local, national, and regional issues onto global screens.


Studies in Mass Media

Concentrated study in one area or theorist of mass communication. Course topics will change with each offering. Potential topics include the global media integration, the internet as a public sphere, public journalism, the theories of Marshall McLuhan, Hollywood film genres, or Italian film. Varied topics.

  • Kwami, J. (2016). Development from the Margins? Mobile Technologies, Transnational Mobilities and Livelihood Practices among Ghanaian Women Traders. Communication, Culture & Critique.

  • Kwami, J. (2015). Gender, Entrepreneurship and Informal Markets in Africa: Understanding How Ghanaian Women Traders Self-Organize with Digital Tools. In J. Ofori-Dankwa, & K. Omane-Antwi (Eds.) Comparative Case Studies on Entrepreneurship in Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 19-49). Hershey, PA: IGI.

  • Kwami, J. (2015). Review of: Speaking Up and Talking Back? Media Empowerment and Civic Engagement among East and Southern African Youth.” Discourse & Communication 9, 509-512.

  • Kwami, J. (2014). Review: Media, Communication and Development: Three Approaches. By Linje Manyozo. Democratic Communiqué, 26(1), 61.

  • Steeves, H.L. & Kwami, J. (2012). ICT4D, Gender Divides, and Development: The Case of Ghana. In S. Melkote (Ed.) Development Communication in Directed Social Change: A Reappraisal of Theory & Practice. Singapore: AMIC.

  • Kwami, J. Wolf-Monteiro, B. & Steeves, H.L. (2011). Toward a 'Macro-Micro' Analysis of Gender, Power and ICTs: A Response to Micky Lee's Feminist Political Economic Critique of the Human Development Approach to New ICTs." International Communication Gazette, 73: 539-549.

  • Kwami, J. (2007). “Media, Information and Development in Papua New Guinea.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. 84 (1), 187-188.

  • Kwami, J. (2007). Expanding the Frontiers of Rural Access. Iconnect Online Newsletter.

  • Slater, D. & Kwami, J. (2005). Embeddedness and Escape: Internet and Mobile phone Us as Poverty Reduction Strategies in Ghana. Information Society Research Group Working Paper Series, 4.
University of Oregon
Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies
University of Oregon
University of Ghana
University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

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