During the period of decolonisation in Africa, the CIA subsidised a number of African authors, editors and publishers as part of its anti-communist covert propaganda strategy. Managed by two front organisations, the Congress of Cultural Freedom and the Farfield Foundation, its Africa programme stretched across the continent, with hubs in Ibadan, Kampala, Nairobi, Cape Town and Johannesburg. This Element unravels the hidden networks and associations underpinning African literary publishing in the 1960s; it investigates the success of the CIA in disrupting and infiltrating African literary magazines and publishing firms, and determines the extent to which new circuits of cultural and literary power emerged. Based on new archival evidence relating to the Transcription Centre, The Classic and The New African, it includes case studies of Wole Soyinka, Nat Nakasa and Bessie Head, which assess how their literary careers were influenced by these transnational literary institutions, and their response to these interventions.
African Literature and the CIA: Networks of Authorship and Publishing