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World Cinema’ Versus Subjectivity: How to Read Tunde Kelani’s Abeni

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
12:00 AM
4701 Haven Hall

Abeni is directed by Tunde Kelani. 2006. Nigeria. Genre: Nollywood. Setting: Lagos, Cotonou.

Kenneth Harrow is a Professor of English at MSU who specializes in African literature and cinema, postcolonialism, feminism, and African Diaspora studies. He was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Yaounde from 1977–79, a Fulbright Research Scholar in Dakar from
1982–83, and a Senior Fulbright Professor there from 2005–06. His publications include Thresholds of Change in African Literature (Heinemann) and Less Than One and Double: A Feminist Reading of African Women’s Writing (Heinemann). In 2007, a French translation of
the latter will be published by L’Harmattan. 

Harrow has edited numerous collections on such topics as Islam and African literature, African
cinema, and women in African cinema. His latest book, Postcolonial African Cinema (Indiana University Press), came in 2007. The core of Harrow’s scholarship has turned on African culture, and his primary concerns have always included questions of political commitment.
Currently, he is currently working on models of interpretation that derive from the approach taken by Slavoj Žižek among others these involve questions concerning the relationship between patriarchy, the subject, the materiality of the object, and the global economic system. At stake in this inquiry is the question of how the evolving shape of African culture is marked by changes in these parameters in relation to each other, and, especially, how one can read those changes in ways that respond to progressive political approaches.

Ken Harrow, Department of English, Michigan State University