Science and technology are essential tools for innovation, and to reap their full potential, we also need to articulate and solve the many aspects of today’s global issues that are rooted in the political, cultural, and economic realities of the human world. With that mission in mind, SHASS Communications launched The Human Factor — an ongoing series that highlights research on the human dimensions of global challenges. Contributors to this series also share ideas for cultivating the multidisciplinary collaborations needed to solve the major civilizational issues of our time.
M. Amah Edoh is an assistant professor of African studies in the SHASS-based Global Studies and Languages section. Her research centers on the “African print” or “wax” cloth textile — a particular variety of which Edoh uses as a lens for examining Africa’s place on the world stage. While wax cloth is seen by many as the quintessential marker of African cultural identity, it has a thoroughly global history.