Black Orpheus and the African magazines of the Congress for Cultural Freedom

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Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

This chapter discusses how the Congress for Cultural Freedom entered the cultural field of sub-Saharan Africa in the period of decolonization, focusing on its sponsorship of the periodicals Black Orpheus in Nigeria and Transition in Uganda. Unlike other CCF journals, the African magazines were well established, though under-resourced, before they came to the Congress’ attention. This chapter charts the advent of the CCF’s role as a funder of African cultural modernism, paying attention to the interventions of Michael Josselson, the cultural entrepreneur Ulli Beier, and the director of the CCF African programme, Es’kia Mphahlele. Discussing their competing visions for an African republic of letters, it suggests that the CCF’s efforts to intervene in the non-aligned nations of the Third World were often hampered by the limits of its abstract political thinking in practice.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCampaigning Culture and the Global Cold War:
Subtitle of host publicationThe Journals of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
EditorsGiles Scott-Smith, Charlotte A. Lerg
Publication statusPublished - 2017