Camen McCain

Carmen McCain

Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (805) 565-7220
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 106

Office Hours
Spring 2018
TuTh 2-3pm, 5:10-6pm
W 5:20-6:30pm
and by appointment


Postcolonial Studies and cultural studies, Film Studies, African literature and film with a specialty in Nigerian and Hausa-language cultural production, Nollywood Studies, politics of language, translation



  • Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2014
  • M.A. – University of Wisconsin Madison, 2007
  • B.A. – Messiah College, 1999

Selected Academic Publications

Carmen has also regularly published in more popular media, including interviews and articles published in Chimurenga, NewsAfrica, Nigerians Talk, Pambazuka News, IPS News, etc, and a four year column in the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust. She has also published translated excerpts of Hausa literature in Glenna Gordon’s photobook Diagram of the Heart and Sentinel Nigeria  and has been involved with several film projects, working on subtitles for Hausa films and on the script for the Lagos-based Core Productions documentary Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis.

Selected Fellowships

Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2014)
Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2010)
Ebrahim Hussein Fellowship for Research in African Literature (2009)
Harvey Fellowship (2006-2009)
U.S. Dept. of Education Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Hausa) (2004, 2005, 2006)
West Africa Research Association Pre-doctoral summer fellowship (2006)
Fulbright IIE Fellowship  (2001-2002)

Recent Presentations

 “Pre-20th century Hausa literature.” Modern Language Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA. January 2017.

 “Kannywood Cycles Back to the Future: Celebrity, Cinema, Serials and the Search for a Global Audience-Pushing Further.” African Studies Association Conference, Washington, DC. December 2016.

 “Kannywood cycles back to the Future: celebrity, cinema, serials, and the search for a global audience.” New Directions in Nollywood and Nigerian Cinema Conference. Columbia University, New York, NY. April 2016.

 “This is Where Our Lives Will End: Fighting Apocalyptic disaster with cinematic wizardry in Kannywood films.” African Literature Association Conference, Atlanta, GA. April 2016.

 “Fever of Love: Anxieties over HIV Exposure in the Nigerian Hausa Film Zazzabi.” African Studies Association Conference, San Diego, CA. November 2015.

 “Moving Past Suffering: Literary gatekeepers in a time of Boko Haram.” African Literature Association Conference, Bayreuth, Germany. June 2015.

 “Eschatological discourses and befriending the ‘Other’ in Hausa video responses to injustice and suffering.” Second Kwara State University Conference on African Cinema, Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria. November 2014.

 “Imprisoned in a Shari’a State: Tolerance and Accusations in two Hausa films by Hamisu Lamido Iyan-Tama.” 2014 African Studies Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN. November 2014.

 “Three Hausa Novels by Balaraba Ramat Yakubu: the Exposed Woman Revealing the Secrets of the Home.” 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, New York, NY. March 2014.



Authors in Context: Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Intermediate and Advanced Undergraduate)
Studies in World Literature: Introduction to African Literature (elementary undergraduate)
Writers in Conversation: Hyphenated Lives: transnational experiences of America (elementary undergraduate)
Topics in World Literature: Nigerian Literature (Intermediate and Advanced Undergraduate)

Kwara State University, Malete; Bayero University, Kano; and the University of Jos (Lecturer)

Popular Literature and the Mass Media (MA level)
Studies in Contemporary Nigerian Writing (Advanced Undergraduate)
Seminar in the Arts (Film and Television) (Advanced Undergraduate,
Advanced Research Methods in Film and TV Studies (Advanced Undergraduate)
Television and African Cultures (Advanced Undergraduate)
Activism and Filmmaking (Intermediate Undergraduate)
Film Analysis (Advanced Undergraduate)
Gender and Media (Advanced Undergraduate)
Advanced Writing (Intermediate Undergraduate)

University of Wisconsin, Madison (Teaching Assistant)

Introduction to African Languages and Literature (Elementary Undergraduate)
Hausa Verbal Arts in Translation (Intermediate Undergraduate)
Africa: An Introductory Survey (Elementary Undergraduate)