Shadows of Empire in West Africa

New Perspectives on European Fortifications

  • John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu
  • Victoria Ellen Smith

Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu, Victoria Ellen Smith
    Pages 1-31
  3. Henry Nii Adziri Wellington, Rexford Assasie Oppong
    Pages 239-272
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 351-368

About this book


These essays reexamine European forts in West Africa as hubs where different peoples interacted, negotiated and transformed each other socially, politically, culturally, and economically. This collection brings together scholars of history, archaeology, cultural studies, and others to present  a nuanced image of fortifications, showing that over time the functions and impacts of the buildings changed as the motives, missions, allegiances, and power dynamics in the region also changed. Focusing on the fortifications of Ghana, the authors discuss how these structures may be interpreted as connecting Ghanaian and West African histories to a multitude of global histories. They also enable greater understanding of the fortifications’ contemporary use as heritage sites, where the Afro-European experience is narrated through guided tours and museums.


West African History Forts and Castles in West Africa Colonial Society in Africa Cape Coast Castle William Smith, Thirty different drafts of Guinea Jean Barbot, Description of the Coasts of North and South Guinea history of women Gold Coast history of Gold Coast trade European architecture in Africa Obama visit to Cape Coast Castle colonial fortresses on Ghana coast heritage policies in twentieth-century Ghana heritage tourism in Africa African diaspora roots tourism African museum studies

Editors and affiliations

  • John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu
    • 1
  • Victoria Ellen Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.University of GhanaLegonGhana

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-39281-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-39282-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site