The Season of "Kongi's Harvest": The Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria

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Date
2015-04-09
Authors
Kinnebrew, Jeanna Lynn
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Middle Tennessee State University
Abstract
This thesis explores the efforts of the Rockefeller Foundation in Nigeria's University of Ibadan during the years 1960 to 1969. I argue that the Foundation, though ostensibly nonpartisan, in truth served as an extension of the existing U.S. foreign policy apparatus. To promote American ideals of democracy and capitalism in the newly-independent former British colony, the Foundation contributed more than one million dollars per year to various projects at the University. While most projects focused on public health, agriculture, or economic development, the Foundation also single-handedly funded the creation of the School of Drama. Among the School's primary goals were to take English-language "theatre to the people." I argue that the School's founding was the result of a conscious effort by the Rockefeller Foundation to promote American ideals via drama productions throughout Nigeria, in an effort to combat the perceived Soviet influence in the newly-independent nation.
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Keywords
Cold War, Nigeria, Philanthropy, Rockefeller Foundation
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