Northwestern Events Calendar


Wednesdays@PAS: The Unjust City in Nollywood Cinema: Gentrification & Urban Injustice in Femi Odugbemi’s Maroko

When: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture. Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Paul Ugor, English Department, Illinois State University

Title: The Unjust City in Nollywood Cinema: Gentrification & Urban Injustice in Femi Odugbemi’s Maroko

Abstract: The presentation will demonstrate the particular ways in which Nollywood videos function as spectacular dramas of postcolonial metropolitan tensions. I aim to show how these tensions unravel the inhibitions and opportunities, triumphs and failures, disempowerments and agency of everyday city life in urban Africa. Building on the extant discourse of the city as a leitmotif in Nollywood movies, I argue that Nollywood videos offer significant insights into the political-economic and social injustices that pervade Lagos as a megacity. My presentation thus seeks to demonstrate how Nollywood videos narrativize the complicated and oftentimes ambivalent experiences of postcolonial urban life in African cities. It shows to how in many developing countries in Africa, the putative function of large cities as generators of modernization and development has ironically produced domains of uneven growth, social inequities and a general persistence of a culture of socio-economic peripherality. Using Femi Odugbemi’s 2006 video film, Maroko, I reflect on how Nollywood communicates the specific unevenness of postcolonial urban spatiality.

Bio: Dr. Paul Ugor is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Illinois State University, Normal. His research interests are in Anglophone African literatures and cultures, African popular arts, global youth cultures, Anglophone world literatures and postcolonial theory. His most recent works include his single-authored monograph, Nollywood: Popular Culture and Narratives of Youth Struggles in Nigeria (Carolina Academic Press, September 2016) and an edited book of essays, Globalizing the African Youth: Challenges, Agency and Resistance (Ashgate 2015).

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