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Call for Papers: Nollywood in Africa, Africa in Nollywood, International Conference at Pan-African University, Lagos. Abstract Deadline: 30 June 2011

Nollywood in Africa, Africa in Nollywood
An International Conference

School of Media and Communication (SMC)
Pan African University, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Dates: July 21-24, 2011


Professor Emevwo Biakolo-Dean School of Media and Communication, PAU, VI, Nigeria & Professor Onookome Okome-University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

There has been a boom in the scholarship of Nollywood lately, so that it is now appropriate to speak of an intellectual niche that we may, for want of a better phrase, refer to as “Nollywood Studies.” As part of its template, this area of African Studies is concerned with the cultural product, the Nollywood film. There are also aspects dealing with production style, distribution, exhibition and financing, which the Nollywood industry inaugurated so quickly and spontaneously. Indeed, a body of mythologies has congealed around the way Nollywood makes its film. One documentary film after the other rehashes these mythologies ad infinitum. One remarkable feature of Nollywood as African’s “dream factory” is that it came into life and has lived its life without the express support of any Government or other institutional means. However, understanding the popularity that Nollywood enjoys across the African continent and its diasporas is a complex matter. Nollywood was able to achieve and sustain this popularity because it has managed to find new ways of migrating in and outside Africa without let or hindrance. Yet, its growth and unprecedented popularity as Africa’s “popular cinema” did not happen without peculiar challenges for the producers. In the early days, Nollywood was vilified in the as the art of idiots and some even vented to called it the “peddler’s art” in the same way that Hollywood was vilified in the 1890s. Even today, not everyone is happy about what it reads as local cultures. Many still regard it as “fake art.” Some still describe it as “infantile” in the ways it reads, makes and circulates culture. Inattentive to what the cultural brouhaha is all about, Nollywood producers have gone on to do what they know how to do best: produce more Nollywood films for their captive audiences across African and in the black diasporas.

This conference has two goals. First, it seeks to rephrase the significance of Nollywood as a popular vehicle for the production of culture and the provision of a systematic way of reading the Nollywood film (and industry) as popular art.

To answer these questions, the convener solicits abstracts that deal with: (1) the production and circulation of culture in Nollywood; (2) Nollywood in Africa and the African diasporas, (3) Nollywood’s Africa and the representations of Africa in Nollywood;(4) the audience of Nollywood; (5) women in/of Nollywood; (6) transgressive and un-cultural Nollywood; (7)sexualities and sexual preference in Nollywood film; (7) exhibition, financing and distribution in Nollywood; (8) the internet and Nollywood; (9) Nollywood and the development of national cinemas in Africa;(10) and Nollywood in the world.

Invited speakers include Professor Karin Barber (University of Birmingham, UK), Professor John Haynes (Brooklyn College, Long Island University, New York), Professor John McCall (University of Southern Illinois, US) and Prof. Dr. Till Forster (University of Basel, Switzerland).


Karin Barber

Jon Haynes

Manthia Diawara

Biodun Jeyifo

Abstracts and inquiries should be sent by email to Añuli Agina <aagina@smc.edu.ng>, Vivian Ojiyovwi-Adeoti <vadeoti@smc.edu.ng>, and Ijeoma Nwezeh <inwezeh@smc.edu.ng> no latter than June 30, 2011 and clearly marked, “Nollywood in Africa Conference” on the subject line of the email.

Making Research on Hausa Films available online: Ali Liman Abubakar’s MA thesis: Storyline Structure in Hausa Home Videos: An Analysis of Mai Kudi, Sanafahna and Albashi

One of our goals here at the Hausa Home Video Resource Centre is to make as much scholarly information about Hausa films as possible available to researchers.  We have created a working bibliography with a list of publications, theses, and ongoing work to assist researchers, which can be accessed at the above link. (This is still very incomplete, so we welcome contributions from and collaboration with other institutions who would like to provide us with lists of theses available at their institutions or from scholars who would like to fill in the missing holes in the publications bibliography.)
We also hope scholars will help us make their work available either as a hard copy to keep on file here at Bayero University or online at this website. We welcome book donations (to keep  on file at the centre), pdf files of articles, or PhD, MA, and BA theses.  We hope to provide some amount of correction to global inequalities in access to literature by providing online access to the work of those doing scholarship in Nigeria, which often is available only in an institutional library, as well as access to available research for Nigerians and others doing research in locations without access to massive libraries and expensive scholarly journal sites.
Ali Liman Abubakar, who completed his MA thesis: Storyline Structure in the Hausa Home Videos: An Analysis of Mai Kudi, Sanafahna, and Albashi, in the Department of Mass Communications at Bayero University is the first to agree to allow us to upload his MA thesis here. The MA thesis can be accessed at this link: Liman–MA thesis 2006–BUK–Hausa film PDF.
In the working bibliography, we have also tried to provide links to other works that are available online. If other scholars would like to follow suit or already have their scholarly work online and would like us to link to it, please send us an email at hausahomevideoresource[at]gmail.com. We welcome peer-reviewed scholarly material on any aspect of Nigerian or African popular culture, but particularly film.


 Storyline Structure in the Hausa Home Videos: An Analysis of Mai Kudi, Sanafahna, and Albashi by Ali Liman Abubakar


 This study analyzes storyline structure in three Hausa home videos;

Mai Kudi (The Rich Man), Sanafahna (with time truth shall dawn) and Albashi (Salary). The study measures storyline structure in these films against a Hollywood film industry model of story writing “the Hero’s Journey”. It uses narrative analysis as its analytical tool, and narrative theory as its framework. After analyzing these videos, the study found that the major elements of storyline structure in Vogler’s model formed the framework of the storyline structure in Hausa home videos analyzed. However, in spite of the preponderance of these elements within the storyline structure, there are significant variations to Vogler’s model. Specifically, Vogler’s model has some twelve stages spread on the universal structure of storytelling, i.e. beginning, middle and end. Few of these stages were found to exist in Hausa narrative structure, perhaps due to cultural differences between Western, Indian and Hausa cultures. The study therefore recommends screenwriters and producers to be aware of the existence of standard models of scriptwriting. It also recommends more training for script writers in the Hausa film industry.