622010 PS Contemporary History: Decolonising the Gaze. African Films from the 1960s to the Present

summer semester 2021 | Last update: 29.03.2021 Place course on memo list
PS Contemporary History: Decolonising the Gaze. African Films from the 1960s to the Present
PS 2
each semester

Acquisition of basic competences in dealing with historical sources and representations on Contemporary History and/or the 20th and 21st century as well as the ability to present the newly-acquired knowledge in oral and/or written form.

The history of the medium of film begins at the height of European imperialism in the late nineteenth century. Film quickly became a significant component of imperialist forms of knowledge production and mechanisms of domination. Established colonial topoi continue to shape the portrayal of Africa and African societies today. However, with the process of decolonization and emergence of new production contexts in the course of the 20th century, colonial narratives and representations were also challenged by critiques and alternatives.
In this course we will, firstly, deal with the history of African films: What is "African" cinema, what was it supposed to be? What economic and socio-cultural factors as well as asymmetries have shaped film-making from the colonial period to the emergence of film industries such as Nollywood (Nigeria)? How were themes, filmmaking, financing and reception shaped by transnational entanglements? By addressing these questions, African films become a fertile subject for African history as part of global intertwined histories.
Secondly, we will watch and analyse selected feature films (by Ousmane Sembène, Gillo Pontecorvo, Sarah Maldoror, Abderrahmane Sissako and Licínio Azevedo, among others) with regard to formal and content-related emancipatory strategies. In particular, we examine how the representation of (post-)colonialism, trans- or international connections, violence and gender relations has changed over five decades – or continues to follow the agendas of decolonization from the 1960s.

Interactive learning process: Oral presentations, discussions, written paper.

Course with continuous performance assessment: attendance at all sessions, active participation in discussions, oral presentation and handout, final paper (10 pages).

Barlet, Oliver (2001): Afrikanische Kinowelten. Die Dekolonisierung des Blicks. Bad Honnef: Horlemann.

Cooke, Paul (2018): Film and the End of Empire. In: Martin Thomas, Andrew S. Thompson und Paul Cooke (Hg.): The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire: Oxford University Press, S. 554–677.

Djagalov, Rossen (2020): From internationalism to postcolonialism. Literature and cinema between the Second and the Third Worlds. Montreal et al.: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Dinkel, Jürgen (2015): Dekolonisation und Film – Ein Literaturbericht. In: WerkstattGeschichte (69), S. 7–22.

Stein, Sarah (2020): Die globalpolitische Selbstverortung frankophoner afrikanischer Filmschaffender in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren: Oder warum afrikanische Filmschaffende (lange) nicht vom globalen Norden sprachen. In: Steffen Fiebrig, Jürgen Dinkel und Frank Reichherzer (Hg.): Nord/Süd. Perspektiven auf eine globale Konstellation. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, S. 299–322.

Tcheuyap, Alexie (2011): African Cinema(s). Definitions, Identity and Theoretical Considerations. In: Critical Interventions 5 (1), S. 10–26.

Ukadike, Nwachukwu Frank (1994): Black African cinema. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Positive assessment of compulsory module 1

Online-enrollment required