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My Research

My research centres upon Ghanaian history, culture and literature, with particular interest in 19th century Fante and Anglo-Fante society. This locates my work in cultural history within themes of West African state building, the British Empire and the African Diaspora. My research explores the construction of cultural identity, literary sites of memory and the writing of oral history. As such, my doctoral thesis in Comparative Cultural Studies interrogated histories of domestic slavery in 19th century Euro-African society to explore written forms for documenting this largely oral history.

I am currently working with Dr. Michael Niblett and Dr. Chris Campbell of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick on the AHRC-funded project Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire'. Building on preliminary research conducted through a Research and Development Fund award from the University of Warwick, the project examines the networks of literary and cultural production in the Anglophone Caribbean, West Africa - specifically Ghana - and the influence of the BBC Colonial Service in shaping the stylistic and political contours of emerging world literatures at the time of decolonization. My focuses within this project is the platform provided for Ghanaian literature by the Gold Coast (later Ghana) Broadcasting System in Accra and the mediating role played by Henry Swanzy as Head of Programmes (1954-1958). I am also working on family histories for a number of 19th century Euro-African trading families based in Cape Coast (Ghana); the Fante-born slave Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and the Fante Asafo military companies.

PhD thesis:

If Walls Had Mouths: representations of the Anglo-Fante household and the domestic slave in nineteenth-century Cape Coast (Ghana)


Prof. David Dabydeen

d dot dabydeen at warwick dot ac dot uk

Prof. Karen O'Brien

karen dot obrien at kcl dot ac dot uk

Dr. John Gilmore

j dot t dot gilmore at warwick dot ac dot uk