Dr. Emmanuel Saboro

Senior Guest Researcher 

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
September 2023 - October 2023

Centre for African and International Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), African Humanities Program
 
Title of current research project: "Sites of Memory: Visuality and Metaphors of Slavery in Ghana"
Emmanuel Saboro Book
© Emmanuel Saboro

Recently Published Book:

Wounds of Our Past: Remembering Captivity, Enslavement and Resistance in African Oral Narratives

Emmanuel Saboro
© Emmanuel Saboro

Academic Profile

I am  a Senior Lecturer in African Literature, Memory and Slavery Studies at the Centre for African and International Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana and a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), African Humanities Program. I am a trans-disciplinary scholar with research interests centred on the interface between Literature/Folklore and Oral History. Specifically,  I have been interested in the impact of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa, 19th Century Internal Slave trafficking in Africa in general and Northern Ghana, in particular. Most recently, my research has focused on Memory, Trauma, Resistance and Identity Construction in Northern Ghana. An integral feature of my research has involved the expansion of the methodological tools scholars can use to uncover the histories of those time periods and areas of the world in which written sources are often scarce and inaccessible. I have particularly been interested in applying historical, cultural and literary methodologies to the historical study of indigenous cultures in Africa.  I have within almost two decades through ethnographic fieldwork collected and interpreted oral traditions, songs and oral histories, on slavery, its legacies and afterlives across some Ghanaian communities and have complemented this complex nuanced data with close literary reading techniques and contextual analyses, as well as insights from cultural anthropology to develop rich histories and narratives of the slave experience within the context of Ghana and West Africa.

My most recent book is Wounds of Our Past: Remembering Captivity, Enslavement and Resistance in African Oral Narratives (2022) published in the Global Slavery Series, Brill Leiden and Boston.

While at BCDSS, I will be working on my new book project Sites of Memory: Visuality and Metaphors of Slavery in Ghana.

2015
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Hull, United Kingdom                    

2014
Post Graduate Certificate in Research Training, University of Hull, United Kingdom       

2010
Basic Chinese, Hunan City University, China                                                              

2009
M.Phil. English in African Literature, University of Cape Coast, Ghana                             

2003
B.A. in English & Religious Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

  • Saboro, E. (2022) Wounds of Our Past: Remembering Captivity and Enslavement in African Oral Narratives. Brill: Leiden and Boston.
  • Saboro, E. (2017). The wound and the voice: verbal articulations of enslavement among the Bulsa and Kasena of Ghana. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 26(1), 34-61.
  • Saboro, E. (2016). Remembering Enslavement through Expressive Culture: Animistic Metaphors Contesting Notions of Victimhood among the Bulsa of Ghana. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, 4(2).921-933.
  • Saboro, E. (2016). The burden of memory: oral and material evidence of human kidnapping for enslavement and resistance strategies among the Bulsa and Kasena of Ghana. Africology: Journal of Pan-African Studies, 9(5), 111-130.
  • Saboro, E. (2016). Memorialising the slave trade through Names among the Kasena of Ghana. ASEMKA, 10(1), 70-85.
  • Saboro, E. (2021). War Songs: Slavery, the oral tradition and identity construction’. In T. Falola & T. Akinyemi (Eds), Palgrave Handbook of oral traditions and folklore. (pp. 437-452). New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
  • Saboro, E. (2013). Songs of sorrow, songs of triumph: Memories of the slave trade among the Bulsa of Ghana’. In Bellangamba, A. Greene, S. & Klein, M. (Eds.). Bitter legacy: African slavery past and present, (pp.133-147). Princeton, NJ: Marcus Weiner.
  • Aba, S. C. & Saboro, E. (2022). Intimations of futurity: Masculinities, traumatic memories and spatial dynamics in Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. Journal of African Languages and Literary Studies, 3(1),101-120.
  • Okyere, S., Agyeman, N. K., & Saboro, E. (2021). ‘Why was He videoing us?’ The ethics and politics of audio-visual propaganda in child trafficking and human trafficking campaigns. Anti-Trafficking Review (16), 47-68.
  • Asempasah, R.  & Saboro, E. (2021). Unsettling the coloniality of power: form, grievability, and futurity in Opoku-Agyemang’s Cape Coast Castle: A Collection of Poems (1996). Cogent Arts & Humanities, 8(1), 2-14.
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