The History of Sub-Saharan African Literatures on Film
Cinematic adaptations of sub-Saharan African literatures draw from a wide range of genres from West African folktales to Zulu legends, from Hausa popular literature to graphic novels, war narratives or Afro Bubblegum art. Departing from the notion that, like literature and cinema, cinematic adaptations are influenced by historical moments and political, social and economic transitions, The History of Sub-Saharan African Literatures on Film seeks chapter proposals that examine adaptations of African literatures–in their multilingual and multicultural contexts–in order to provide a comprehensive volume that spans linguistic regions and will serve as a resource to specialists and non-specialists alike. The volume aims to be a sort of adaptation archive and thus strongly urges chapter proposals that focus on Afrophone and Europhone countries throughout the sub-Saharan region. Moreover, if we consider adaptation as “réécriture” (re-writing) (Tcheuyap 2005), our study of multiple rewritings across time and space seeks to contribute to a rewriting or a rethinking of history, a reformulation of theories and even a rethinking or new direction for adaptation studies.
In individual chapters, the historical, political, social and/or economic contexts should frame discussions about, for instance, aesthetic choices in adaptation, what adaptation might bring to the discussion, or the choice itself of what to adapt to the screen and which screen, who chooses to adapt and why. Authors might focus on the aspect of storytelling through montage, framing, setting or on filmmaking as language, other language choices in films, music in adaptations, readership and viewership, and whether or how adaptation approaches have changed in response to or as a result of a particular historical moment or event. Contributors may choose to take up additional questions, such as: How have authorial approaches, storytelling techniques and media changed throughout the region’s cinematic history? How do storytellers deploy narrative techniques, approach narrative units and structures, and how do narrative styles merge or differ with regard to the choice of medium? What do filmmakers’ narrative choices bring to adaptation and what do those choices tell us about adaptation? Further, if African filmmaking has relied on the discourses and theoretical positioning in African literatures, how has the medium of film articulated those discourses and theories and expanded upon them? Altered them? How much has adaptation played a role in this process? Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged, including from the fields of postcolonial theory, cultural studies, literary theory, translation theory, queer theory.
Chapters should situate adaptation within a particular historical, political, social or economic moment or time period, such as:
– First generation African filmmaking and adaptation, the Algiers Charter (1969) and political and aesthetic aims of African cinema, including the adaptation of myths, folktales, legends, plays, short stories and novels
– Adaptation, revolutions and revolutionary aesthetics and techniques; national identity and politics
– Popular media – popular theatre, market literature, video production; adaptation and Nollywood, Kannywood, Ghallywood, and in video production in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Cameroon, Tanzania
– Adaptations of war narratives, child soldier narratives
-Adaptations and African screen media in the 21st century, modes of production, distribution, or of viewing
– Film languages, local and international actors, professional and non-professional actors, co-productions, global collaborations
Please submit a 250-300-word abstract with your name, title and affiliation to the editor, Dr. Sara Hanaburgh firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1, 2019. Include “Call for Book Chapters” in email subject. Accepted abstracts will be notified by September 20. Submission of full chapters (5,000-8,000 words) by February 20, 2020.
This book is under contract with Bloomsbury as part of the growing series, The History of World Literatures on Film, eds. Greg Semenza and Robert Hasenfratz.
Sara Hanaburgh, Ph. D
Assistant Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Faculty Mentor, International House
St. John’s University (Queens, NY)