Decolonising Film
and Screen Studies

 

A half century since it came into existence, the discipline of Film and Screen Studies remains mostly Eurocentric in its historical, theoretical and critical frameworks. Although “world cinema” and “transnational cinema” scholars have attempted to broaden its canon and frameworks, several major problems persist.

Films and scholarship by Africans in particular, and by people of colour in general, are frequently marginalised if not altogether excluded. This prevents exciting exchanges that could help to re-envision Film and Screen Studies for the twenty-first century, in an era in which greater access to the technological means of making films, and circulating them on a range of screens, means that dynamic “screen worlds” are developing at a rapid rate. This project is studying these “screen worlds” (in both their textual forms and industrial structures), with a focus on African contexts, as a way of centring the most marginalised regional cinema.

We are also interested in comparative studies of global “screen worlds” in diverse contexts, exploring their similarities, differences, and parallel developments. We are responding to the exclusions of Film and Screen Studies not only in scholarly ways – through academic workshops and publications – but also in creative and activist ways – through drawing on cutting-edge creative research methodologies (such as audiovisual criticism and filmmaking) and through the production of ‘toolkits’ on how to make curricula, syllabi, and teaching more globally representative and inclusive.

On a theoretical level, we are considering how the concept of “screen worlds” (or other concepts) might be better equipped than “world cinema” or “transnational cinema” to explore the complexities of audiovisual narratives, and their production and circulation in our contemporary moment, in diverse contexts throughout the globe.

TESTIMONIAL

Core team

Partners

Advisory board

Contact

SOAS
University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Map

Lindiwe Dovey
Principal investigator
ld18@soas.ac.uk

Joe Bingham
Project coordinator
jb110@soas.ac.uk