Although most all contemporary studies of China and Africa focus on current economic or foreign policy concerns, this article provides a preliminary mapping of Africa-China cultural exchanges during the Cold War. Growing out of the Africa-Asia Conference of Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, the Afro-Asian Writers Bureau forged third world solidarities via an alternative conception of postcolonialism based on the transnationalism of global South cultural struggle. By analyzing the cultural exchanges of the bureau, and in particular their definition of world literature, this article seeks to move beyond postcolonial scholarship that focuses exclusively on a vertical relationship between the colonizer and colonized. In so doing, it both reinterprets the Cold War from outside of an American and Soviet dichotomy and provides a critical cultural historicization to China’s current, and often controversial, presence in Africa.
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