Scope and Content
Title: John Povey Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1958-1992
Collection number: 452
Creator: Povey, John
35 boxes (17.5 linear ft.)
1 oversized box
Abstract: The papers of UCLA professor John Povey consist of manuscripts, notes, printed material, publications, drawings, and correspondence
related to his teaching, research, and administrative activities, including the editorship of the journal
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
John Frederick Povey was born April 5, 1929 in South London. Povey was educated at St. Dunstan's College in London during
the Blitz. After World War II, Povey was employed in a gold mine in South Africa under a plan that allowed him to study at
the University of South Africa in Pretoria, where he completed a B.A. in English (1956) and an M.A. in Teaching English as
a Second Language (1960). In the United States, Povey completed his Ph.D. in Third World Literature in English at Michigan
State University (1964), after which he joined the faculty at UCLA. His areas of research included South African and Nigerian
literature, comparative world literature, language planning and policy, ESL/TESL, and investigating symbols and rituals in
African art. John Povey's career at UCLA was distinguished. He was director of the African Humanities Institute, chair of
the ESL Section of the English Department, chair of the Africa Committee of the UC Education Abroad Program, Associate Director
of the African Studies Center, and Project Director for numerous in-service teacher training programs in the United States
and Africa. He authored eight books and texts, 20 chapters for edited volumes, and more than 100 reviews and articles on African
literature, art, and culture. His field research took him to Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Zaire,
Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Togo, and Liberia. One of his most signifigant acomplishments at UCLA was his notable editorship
African Arts, in which he served from Fall 1967 until his retirement in 1991. His tireless efforts to have all forms of African art included
in the major canon of art history promoted the work of talented African artists globally. He died of cancer on May 3, 1992.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of manuscripts, notes, printed material, publications, drawings, and correspondence related to his
teaching, research, and administrative activities, including the editorship of the journal
African Arts. Notable items include promotional materials from galleries empasizing African art, research files on Nigerian Shona artists,
and personal correspondence with Tayo Olafioye, Dumile, and Dennis Brutus. The files document Professor Povey's varied interests,
including English literacy through literature, and African art.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Africanists--United States--Archival resources.