College of Humanities & School of Arts

Professor Lindiwe Dovey

Key information

School of Arts Professor of Film and Screen Studies Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies Member Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies Member Centre of African Studies Management Committee Member Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies Member
BA (Harvard), PhD (Cambridge), SFHEA
Russell Square, College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4388
Support hours
By email appointment


Lindiwe Dovey is Professor of Film and Screen Studies at SOAS University of London, which she joined in September 2007 as a lecturer.

She is a researcher, teacher, filmmaker, and film curator, and her work aims to combine film scholarship and practice in mutually enlightening ways. From 2019 to 2024, she is the Principal Investigator of the project "African Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies", which is funded by a European Research Council grant. From 2023-2025 she is a SOAS Research and Knowledge Exchange college convenor and is chair of the SOAS Research Culture Committee.  

As a filmmaker, Lindiwe is currently completing two documentary films, about the Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge and the South African film producer Bongiwe Selane. In the past she has made film adaptations of literature (for example, of Olive Schreiner and Vladimir Nabokov’s writing), and film adaptation and cultural appropriation are also topics she has reflected on in depth in her scholarly work – for example, in her first book, African Film and Literature (Columbia UP, 2009), as well as in numerous journal articles and book chapters. Lindiwe’s filmmaking practice is driven by a decolonial feminist ethos and an interest in questions of gender.  

As a film festival founder, director and curator, Lindiwe has been instrumental in raising the profile and visibility of African film in the UK. She is the Co-Founder of Film Africa, for which she was also the Co-Director and the Film Programme Director in 2011 and 2012; and she co-founded the Cambridge African Film Festival, which she directed and curated for many years. With colleagues Lindiwe has also co-curated film seasons exploring the similarities and differences between film cultures and industries in different parts of the world, such as Gender Agenda! and Mixed Roots. In her scholarly work she has combined in-depth research into the exhibition, circulation, and curation of film with reflections on her own experiences of founding, directing, and curating film festivals, most notably in her book Curating Africa in the Age of Film Festivals (Palgrave, 2015), and in articles in journals such as Screen, Cinema Journal, Scope, Jump Cut, Journal of African Cultural Studies, and Feminist Africa.  

Lindiwe was born in South Africa, and moved seven times between South Africa and Australia as a child. She then won scholarships to study at Harvard University, where she graduated with a BA Honors in 2001 (in Film Theory and Production, and English Literature), and at the University of Cambridge, where she graduated with a PhD in 2005 (in African Cinema and Literature). She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, the 2011 SOAS Director's Teaching Prize, and a 2011 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding scholarship. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was a keynote speaker for the Aurora Women’s Leadership Development programme in 2022, for which she is also a mentor.

You can find out more about Lindiwe and her work at her website Lindiwe Dovey. Her publications can be accessed through SOAS Research Online.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Cristina Cabral Exploring activism around Blackness in Children’s Cultural Industries in the UK
Joseph Owen Jackson Kahlil Joseph, New Media and the Audiovisual Atlantic: Music and Moving Images between Africa, America and Europe
Mr Joshua McNamara Small scale audiovisual production and its relationship with the development and aid sector in Nairobi: an approach toward Kenya's media environment, from the perspective of practice-based research.
Dr Christine Singer