An international conference on Nollywood will be holding at the School of Media and Communication from July 21-24, 2011. The conference tagged Nollywood in Afrca, Africa in Nollywood will be convened by Prof. Emevwo Biakolo - Dean School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Nigeria and Prof. 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 templates, 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 inaugurated so quickly and spontaneously.
Indeed, a body of mythologies has congealed around the way Nollywood makes its films. 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 as the art of idiots and some even vented to call it "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 way 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 Africa and in the black diasporas.
The Conference has two goals. 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 arts.
To answer these questions, the convener solicits abstracts that deal with:
Paper proposals should be one page, and should list the author's name, address, university affiliations, telephone, fax, and e-mail, followed by the paper's title and an abstract of not more than 300 words. The abstract should specify the subject, questions asked, methodology and findings.
John C. McCall is currently an associate professor of anthropology and Africana studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He writes primarily about the arts in Africa. McCall's book, "Dancing Histories" (2000), examines music and dance as embodied forms of social memory in southeastern Nigeria. For the past decade, McCall has published ethnographically enriched accounts and analyses of Nigeria's emerging global movie industry.
Key note Address: The Good, the Bad, and the Unintended: Nollywood and the Consequences of Culture
Prof. Jonathan Haynes (B.A., McGill University; M.A., Ph.D., Yale University)
Jonathan Haynes was educated at McGill University (B.A. with honors, 1974) and Yale (M.A., 1976; Ph.D., 1980). He has taught at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Tufts University, Albion College, Bennington College, the University of Nigeria-Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria), Columbia University, New York University and the University of Ibadan (Nigeria). Since 1998 Dr. Haynes has been at Long Island University, first at Southampton College and then, since 2004, in the English Department at the Brooklyn Campus. In 2001-2002 he was director of the Friends World Programís West African Center in Kumasi, Ghana.
Jane Bryce is Professor of African Literature and Cinema at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Born in Tanzania, she was educated there, the UK, and Nigeria. She has been a freelance journalist and fiction editor and has published in a range of academic journals and essay collections. She is author of a collection of short stories, Chameleon (2007) and editor of Caribbean Dispatches: Beyond the Tourist Dream (2006). She founded and co-directed the Barbados Festival of African and Caribbean Film and curates the Africa World Documentary Film Festival at Cave Hill. She is also editor of Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing and runs the Poui Project for Creative Writing.
Abstracts and inquries should be sent by email not later than June 30, 2011 and clearly marked, "Nollywood in Africa Conference" on the subject line of the email to:
Añuli Agina - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ijeoma Nwezeh - email@example.com
Vivian Ojiyovwi Adeoti- firstname.lastname@example.org