Comparative Literature | Studies in Non-Western Film
C291 | 23829 | Prof. Adesokan

CMLT-C291 (23829):
Studies in Non-Western Film: Contemporary African Cinemas
Prof. A. Adesokan  ,  MW 9:30-10:45,

Fulfills AH and CS requirements

The works of cineastes from French-speaking West Africa still
constitute the bulk of what is generally regarded as African cinema,
usually outside the continent. This course gives an overview of
African cinema from its inception in the 1950s to the current
digital technology-inspired tendencies in Western and Southern
Africa. While recognizing the revolutionary impact of the practices
of self-representation that motivated the first generation of
African filmmakers, the course also examines the tradition of
European-authored ethnographic films beginning from the late 1940s,
and reaches forth to the relevant works in the diaspora. We will
screen and analyze individual films from across the continent,
focusing on the historical and cultural contexts of the emergence of
this cinema, and the diversity of its aesthetic currents. A good
deal of class discussion will dwell on the contentious issues in
African filmmaking: aesthetic typology, European/non-governmental
funding, ‘art house’ vs. ‘commercial cinema’, questions of’
popularity’, and the like.  No previous familiarity with African
history or cultural forms is assumed or required.