1st Edition

Women in African Cinema Beyond the Body Politic

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politic showcases the very prolific but often marginalised presence of women in African cinema, both on the screen and behind the camera.

    This book provides the first in-depth and sustained examination of women in African cinema. Films by women from different geographical regions are discussed in case studies that are framed by feminist theoretical and historical themes, and seen through an anti-colonial, philosophical, political and socio-cultural cinematic lens. A historical and theoretical introduction provides the context for thematic chapters exploring topics ranging from female identities, female friendships, women in revolutionary cinema, motherhood and daughterhood, women’s bodies, sexuality, and spirituality. Each chapter serves up a theoretical-historical discussion of the chosen theme, followed by two in-depth case studies that provide contextual and transnational readings of the films as well as outlining production, distribution and exhibition contexts. This book contributes to the feminist anti-racist revision of the canon by placing African women filmmakers squarely at the centre of African film culture.

    Demonstrating the depth and diversity of the feminine or female aesthetic in African cinema, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of African cinema, media studies and African studies.

    1. Women in African Cinema: Histories and Theories 

    2. The Multiplicity of Female Identities: Embracing Plurality 

    3. Female Friendships in Film: Affinities, Affiliations and Activism 

    4. Women in Revolution and Revolutionary Cinema 

    5. Daughters and Their Mothers: Between Conflict and Acceptance 

    6. African Women's Bodies: Journeys into Womanhood 

    7. (Re)defining Female Sexuality through Film 

    8. Spiritual Pathways to Emancipation 


    Lizelle Bisschoff is a researcher and curator of African film and founder of the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, an annual African film festival taking place in Scotland. She is currently Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow.

    Stefanie Van de Peer is researcher and programmer of African and Arab cinema. Her award-winning collection Animation in the Middle East came out in 2017. She programmes for film festivals worldwide and works for Africa in Motion. She is Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Lecturer in Film and Media at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.