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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals

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Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  • a sound knowledge of the key texts in contemporary African film and video, and of how these audiovisual products circulate, both on the continent and globally (i.e. through both ‘elite’ and ‘informal’ channels, such as film festivals, television broadcast, art galleries, video halls) and how they are and may be received by spectators in a variety of contexts
  • a sound understanding of what curating/programming African film and video involves, and the ability to curate a programme of African film for a film festival
  • knowledge of the theories circulating in contemporary African Cultural Studies, African Screen Media Studies, Film Festival Studies and Reception Studies
  • critical and analytical abilities in relation to screen media, and particularly African screen media


This course is taught over 11 weeks with four contact hours a week, two of which are spent in film screenings, the other two being lectures.

Scope and syllabus

This course complements courses such as Aspects of African Film and Video 1 and 2, which have a more historical, text-based focus, by putting the focus firmly on contemporary African film and video production but also – and especially – on context ahead of text.  Most importantly, it combines the teaching of both scholarly and practical skills, encouraging students to think of themselves not just as potential future academics but as potential future curators/programmers of film or art.

A full syllabus will be given to students at the beginning of the course.

Method of assessment

This course is examined by one 5,000 word essay to be submitted on day 1, week 1, after the term the course is taught (60%); two (500 - 1,000 word) analyses or podcasts to be submitted during the term (10%); a film festival project (30%).