Caroline Ritter

Fellowship Recipient
Department: History
Country Expertise: Kenya, Ghana
Fellowship Year(s): 2014
Project/Theme Title: The Cultural Project of the Late British Empire in Africa
Abstracts: In the 1930s British colonial officials introduced broadcasting services, publication bureaus, and film units into Africa under the rubric of colonial development. Radio, film, and mass-produced print represent a cultural project of empire because they shared the ability to spread language and British traditions of expression across a vast space cheaply. Over the following decades, an increasing number of British actors, ranging from official institutions to non-state forms of overseas representation, became involved in producing and distributing British culture through these media. This dissertation will argue that the British cultural work in African envisaged itself as providing an imperial public sphere. At its inception the cultural project of the late empire centered on British culture and the British expertise necessary to deliver it, and therefore represented a version of empire that could outlast political control. However, with the approach of decolonization many organizations recognized that their success hinged on incorporating Africans and African culture into their work. British cultural work was able to persist through a broad distribution of agency among both British and African actors, but it was this flexibility that ultimately created the conditions for its own critique.
Fellowship Year(s): 2013
Project/Theme Title: The Cultural Project of the Late British Empire in Africa

Fellowship: FLAS - Academic Year
Fellowship Year(s): 2012
Language: Swahili