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ML3207 Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalization in Contemporary Film

ML3207 Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalization in Contemporary Film

Terms 1-2

Convenor: Dr Fabrizio De Donno


Essay 1: 30%, 2,000-2,500 words; Essay 2: 60%, 2,500-3,000 words

Online (Moodle) Test: 10%


This course explores cinematic representations of the transnational encounter between people, cultures and institutions interconnected by the forces of globalization. The topics covered range from (anti-)colonialism and revolution to postcoloniality and migration. Attention is also paid to the ways in which the films deal with the themes of emancipation, hybridity, displacement, globalism and cosmopolitanism. The course is divided into four blocks. The first block is devoted to the study of the counter-hegemonic films of Third Worldism and Third Cinema, and includes films on the Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French, such as Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (1966).The second and third blocks deal with West African cinema and address the impact of rapid modernization and globalization on countries such as Senegal and Mali that became independent in the early 1960s, as depicted in Sembene’s Xala (1974) and  Guelwaar (1993), Sissako’s Bamako (2006) and Timbuktu (2014). The final block also treats films on migration and explores the life of the Chinese community in Italy depicted in Segre’s Shun Li & the Poet (2011), as well as the migrants’ journeys over the Mediterranean and into Italy, as shown in Giordana’s Once You Are Born You Can No Longer Hide (2005). 


The Battle of Algiers (1966), dir. Gillo Pontecorvo

Borom Sarret (1962), dir. Ousmane Sembene

Touki-Bouki (1973), dir. Djibril Diop Mambety

Guelwaar (1993), dir. O. Sembene

Xala (1974), dir. O. Sembene

Bamako (2006), dir. Abderrahmane Sissako

Timbuktu (2014), dir. Abderrahmane Sissako

Once You Are Born You Can No Longer Hide (2005), dir. Marco Tullio Giordana

Shun Li & The Poet (2011), dir. Andrea Segre

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical and Introductory

Durovicova, N. and Newman, K., eds., World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2009)

Ezra, E. and Rowden, T., eds., Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2006)

Iordanova, D., Martin-Jones, D. and Vidal, B., eds., Cinema at the Periphery (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2010).

Loshitzky, Yosepha Screening Strangers: Migration and Diaspora in Contemporary European Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010)

Maty Ba, Saer and Higbee, Will, eds., De-Westernizing Film Studies (London: Routledge, 2012)

Naficy, Hamid, An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001)

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey, ed., The Oxford History of World Cinema (Oxford: OUP, 1996)

Ponzanesi, S. and Waller, M., eds., Postcolonial Cinema Studies (London: Routledge, 2011)



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