Northwestern University

Wed 12:00 PM

Wednesdays@PAS: “God Has Exposed You”: Discourses of Judgement in Nigerian Hausa Film

recurring see all events in this series

When: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room (106), 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.

Speaker: Carmen McCain (English, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA)

Title: “God Has Exposed You”: Discourses of Judgement in Nigerian Hausa Film

Sponsored by the Nollywood Working Group.

Abstract: I will explore what I call “the politics of exposure in Hausa cultural expression” by connecting over ten years of research on the subaltern discourses within Hausa-language film and literature of northern Nigeria to my current project on Hausa-language video responses to the terrorist group Boko Haram. I argue that there are connections in the way Hausa Muslim artists responded to a censorship crisis that occurred from 2007 to 2011, following the implementation of shari’a law in twelve of Nigeria’s 36 states, and in the way Hausa-speaking Christian musicians respond to the Boko Haram crisis. I will focus here on discourses of judgment--that is the way people talk about punishment for sins-- in the music videos embedded within the Muslim filmmaker Hamisu Lamido Iyan-Tama’s docudrama Kurkuku (Prison) and in Christian musician Saviour Y. Inuwa’s music videos from his album ‘Yan Chibok (The Children of Chibok). I argue that these artists pose a vision of cosmopolitan unity as the alternative to the repressive forces of both state censorship and the anarchic violence of Boko Haram.

Bio: Carmen McCain is an Assistant Professor of English at Westmont College and conducts research on Hausa-language literature, film and popular culture. She is currently working on a book about Boko Haram with Brandon Kendhammer for Ohio University Press, and a monograph tentatively titled The Politics of Exposure in Hausa Cultural Production, which examines social anxieties surrounding popular culture in northern Nigeria and focuses on several censorship crises following the implementation of shari’a law in twelve Nigerian states. She is interested more broadly in contemporary African literature and films, the politics of language, and translation. Her academic publications include articles in Black Camera, the Global South, the Journal of African Cinemas, the Journal of African Media Studies, and several edited volumes. She maintained a column from 2010 to 2014 for the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust and has published several translated excerpts from Hausa novels in Sentinel Nigeria and Glenna Gordon’s photobook Diagram of a Heart. In addition to her current position, she has also taught at Bayero University Kano, the University of Jos, and Kwara State University in Nigeria. 


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