SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Ms Robin Steedman

BA (McGill University), MA (SOAS)
  • Research


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Ms Robin Steedman
Email address:
Thesis title:
Nairobi-based Female Filmmakers and the ‘Creative Hustle’: Gender and Film Production between the Local and the Transnational
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My thesis is the first scholarly work on Nairobi-based female filmmakers. This is a unique context because the most critically acclaimed filmmakers - both directors and producers - are women. My research included eight months of media ethnographic research in Nairobi to specifically contextualise my analysis of these highly unusual filmmakers in the space where they live and work. I also focus on examining transnational connections in film funding and circulation, and the convergence between formats and modes of production happening in these filmmakers' careers today.


  • Film Review – Stories of Our Lives dir. Jim Chuchu. African Studies Review 59, no. 1 (2016): 236-237. doi:10.1017/asr.2016.22
  • Book Review – Rethinking African Cultural Production (eds.) Frieda Ekotto & Kenneth W. Harrow, Africa at LSE blog, 22 January 2016.
  • Film Review – Something Necessary dir. Judy Kibinge. African Studies Review 58, no. 3 (2015): 287-289. doi:10.1017/ asr.2015.108


  • “Transnationalism in African Creative Industries: the Case Study of Kenyan Film.” BFSU and SOAS University of London joint conference, BFSU, Beijing, China, 15 October 2016.
  • “Filmmaking as Hustling: Gender and Film Production in Nairobi.” African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK) biannual conference, Cambridge, UK, 7-9 September 2016.
  • “Nairobi and Transnational Film Production Culture.” European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS), Potsdam, Germany, 28-30 July 2016.
  • “Hustling in Nairobi: Analyzing Kenya’s Female Filmmakers.” SOAS University of London Centre for Film Studies Second Annual Postgraduate Symposium, London, UK, 1 June 2016.
  • “Gendering Production/Producing Gender: A Textual and Contextual Analysis of Yellow Fever (2012) and Something Necessary (2013).” 6th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS), Paris, France, 8-10 July 2015.
  • “Gendering Contemporary Kenyan Film Production: A Contextual Analysis of Dangerous Affair (2002) and Pumzi (2009).” European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS), Łódź, Poland, 18-20 June 2015.


  • Centre for Film Studies


  • African film
  • Screen media convergence
  • Transnational cinemas