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Dr Victoria Smith

Victoria Smith is a Researcher in the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies

Academic Profile

BA in Drama with English (Loughborough University, 2000-2003)

MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature (Loughborough University, 2003-2004)

PhD in Comparative Cultural Studies (University of Warwick, 2008-2011)

Research

Victoria Smith’s research centres upon Ghanaian history, culture and literature, with particular interest in 19th century Fante and Anglo-Fante society. This locates her work in cultural history within themes of West African state building, the British Empire and the African Diaspora. Her research explores the construction of cultural identity, literary sites of memory and the writing of oral history. As such, her doctoral thesis interrogated histories of domestic slavery in 19th century Euro-African society to explore written forms for documenting this largely oral history. She was Visiting Scholar in the Department of History at the University of Ghana (2012-2013) and - as detailed below - she is currently researching Ghanaian literary identity in the context of world literature and broadcast culture at the dawn of independence. Forthcoming publications include family histories of 19th century Anglo-Fante trading families; the Fante-born slave Quobna Ottobah Cugoano; and the cultural history of Fante Asafo military companies.

 AHRC Project: Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture

In 2009 Victoria Smith was awarded a Research and Development Fund bursary from the University of Warwick to conduct research into the role that the BBC producer Henry Swanzy played in shaping the literature that was aired on Ghanaian radio at the dawn of independence. She is now Researcher on a project which builds upon that preliminary research and makes use of the unique access the Yesu Persaud Centre has to Henry Swanzy’s papers, diaries, and letters. The project, titled Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire, is funded by the AHRC and based in the Yesu Persaud Centre. It examines the networks of literary and cultural production in the Anglophone Caribbean, West Africa - specifically Ghana and the work of the Gold Coast (later Ghana) Broadcasting System in Accra - and the mediating role played by the BBC Colonial Service in shaping the stylistic and political contours of emerging world literatures in the twentieth century. The project aims to map out a cultural topography of the uneven production, circulation, and reception of cultural forms within the world-system at the time of decolonization (1945-1968). The project team comprises Dr. Michael Niblett (Warwick), Dr. Chris Campbell (Warwick) and Professor Stewart Brown (Birmingham). Please see the title link for further details.

Selected Publications

Shadows of Empire: Studies of European Fortifications in West Africa, co-edited with John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu and D.E.K. Baku (forthcoming)

‘British Reimagining of the Gold Coast’ in Shadows of Empire: Studies of European Fortifications in West Africa, co-edited with John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu and D.E.K. Baku (forthcoming)

'The Smith Household: Cultural Politics, Trade and Slavery in a Nineteenth-Century Euro-African Family', Replenishing History: New Directions to Historical Research in the 21st Century in Ghana, ed. by Nana Yaw B. Sapong and J. Otto Pohl (Banbury: Ayebia, forthcoming)

‘West African Narratives of Slavery by Sandra E. Greene’, reviewed in Slavery and Abolition, vol. 34, no. 1 (2013)

Guianese Poetry by N. E. Cameron, co-edited with David Dabydeen, Letizia Gramaglia, et al (Coventry: The Caribbean Press, 2009)

The Chinese in British Guiana by Cecil Clementi, co-edited with David Dabydeen, Letizia Gramaglia, et al (Coventry: The Caribbean Press, 2009)

The Coolie: His Rights and Wrongs by John Edward Jenkins, co-edited with David Dabydeen, Letizia Gramaglia, et al (Coventry: The Caribbean Press, 2009)

The First Crossing by Theophilus Richmond, co-edited with David Dabydeen, Letizia Gramaglia, et al (Coventry: The Caribbean Press, 2009)

Contact details
Room: H106, Humanities
Email: v dot e dot smith at warwick dot ac dot uk