PhD Geography, University of Alberta
MA Geography, Wilfrid Laurier University
BA Geography & Philosophy, University of Ghana
Culture & Cultural Studies; Transnational & Return Migration; Ethno-Racial Identity Formation; African Development.
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J1P3
416 736 2100
I am a first-generation African-Canadian intellectual, born and raised in post-colonial Ghana where I did my B.A. in geography, with a minor in philosophy, at the University of Ghana. I immigrated to Canada in 1987 under a Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Scholarship for my MA in geography, after which I completed my PhD (in 1993), also in geography at the University of Alberta under another academic scholarship. I taught at various colleges and universities in British Columbia, including SFU, UBC, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, before taking up an Assistant Professorship at York University in 2002. I became a tenured Associate Professor at York in 2005, and a full Professor of Geography in 2010.
I served as Chair of the Department of Geography at York University; before then, I was the Deputy Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples at York University (2010 to 2013); a Board Member of the Center for Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS), from 2011 to 2013; the Coordinator of York University’s International Development Studies (IDS) program (2008 to 2010); and the Undergraduate Program Director for the Atkinson School of Social Sciences from 2005 to 2008. I am a founding member of the University of Ghana Pan African Doctoral Academy (PADA). Sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, PADA runs short-term courses on selected topics for Ph.D. students across Africa. Professor Mensah’s research cuts across a wide range of disciplines, culminating in publications is such diverse and reputable journals as Health Economics, Higher Education, Studies in Political Economy, Housing Studies, Canadian Geographer, and Social Identities.
I have written a number of book chapters and books, including the well-received Black Canadians: History, Experience, and Social Conditions, published by Fernwood in 2002 & 2010. With a grant from the Gates Foundation, I led a team of researchers to “Evaluate Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme.” My current research focuses on globalization and culture; transnational and return migration; and ethnicity, race, and identity formation. I have received several competitive awards and grants from SSHRC, the Gates Foundation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and ILO. I was the recipient of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) Inaugural Diaspora Visiting Professor Fellowship at the University of Ghana in 2016.