Transnationalising Decolonisation: The Print Media, American Public Spheres, and France’s Imperial Exit in West Africa

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Department 1

Africana Studies

Department 2



Between 1958 and 1960, all of France's colonies in West Africa became independent. While recent historical studies have shed light on the sociopolitical developments that led to the collapse of the French empire in this part of Africa, very few of them have explored the American or other third-party dimensions of this process. In so doing, they have confined the story of decolonisation to an exclusive Franco-African affair. Using a transnational historical approach, this article argues that a number of US public spheres, including various newspapers contributed to the decolonisation saga in French West Africa. This was carried out through their performative coverage of the colonial situation. Although the French imperial state attempted to hold back the tide of anti-colonial sentiment in the USA through judicious public relations campaigns that targeted American public opinion and policy-makers, its efforts proved largely illusory.


Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14794012.2013.843881#tabModule



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