1st Edition

Space and Time in African Cinema and Cine-scapes

By Kenneth W. Harrow Copyright 2022
    250 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is the first of its kind to bring basic notions of contemporary physics to bear on African cine-scapes.

    In this book, renowned African cinema scholar Kenneth W. Harrow presents unique new ways to think about space and time in film, with a specific focus on African and African diasporic cinema. Through a series of case studies, he explores how cinema creates and represents time and space and, more specifically, how a cinema centered in African landscapes and figures accomplishes this. He reflects on the issues and problems posed by scientists when faced with the basic questions of what space and time are and their solutions or conclusions, giving both film studies and African studies scholars access to new ways to formulate their thinking about African cine-scapes. Working beyond the limits of a framework based in a postcolonial and cultural understanding of time and space, Harrow demonstrates how a scientific understanding of time and space can open up new approaches to African cinema and cinema in general.

    A unique, interdisciplinary book that encourages brand new ways to approach cinematic texts and, specifically, African cine-scapes.

    Introduction  Part One: Space and Relationality  1. Sembène Ousmane, "Borom Sarret" and Framing the Questions of Science  2. John Akomfrah, Nine Muses 3. Dyana Gaye, Des Etoiles  Part Two: Time  4. Time and Kentridge: Georges Méliès, "Le Voyage dans la lune" and William Kentridge, "The Refusal of Time," "Felix in Exile"  5. Abbas Kiarostami, ABC Africa and 24 Frames  6. Chris Marker, Sans Soleil  7. Mati Diop, Mille Soleils  Conclusion


    Kenneth W. Harrow is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English at Michigan State University. His work focuses on African cinema and literature, Diaspora and Postcolonial Studies. He is the author of Thresholds of Change in African Literature, Less Than One and Double: A Feminist Reading of African Women’s Writing, Postcolonial African Cinema: From Political Engagement to Postmodernism, and Trash! A Study of African Cinema Viewed from Below. He has edited numerous collections on such topics as Islam and African literature, African cinema, and women in African literature and cinema, including, with Carmela Garritano, A Companion to African Film.

    "Kenneth Harrow’s book innovatively places science in conversation with African films. This pairing leads to the groundbreaking possibility that multiple kinds of time exist in and around the cinematic experience. From this hypothesis, Harrow reframes our relationship with cinema and moves the field of African cinema into much-needed new territory."

    Vlad Dima, Professor & Chair, Department of African Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA