Academic Writing

Please stay tuned for pdfs of selected samples of my academic writing here. Click on the link to download the pdf or go to its location on the internet. I welcome comments and feedback.
McCain, Carmen. ‘Video Expose: Metafiction and Message in Nigerian Films.’ Journal of African Cinemas. (2012) 4.1: 26-57.
McCain, Carmen. ‘FESPACO in a time of Nollywood: The politics of the ‘video’ film at Africa’s oldest festival,’ Journal of African Media Studies (2011) 3.2: 241-261.


McCain, Carmen. “Nollywood, Kannywood, and a Decade of Hausa Film Censorship in Nigeria” in Daniel Biltereyst and Roel Vande Winkel eds. Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship around the World. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. (forthcoming)
McCain, Carmen “Chapter 24: Islam and Modernity” in Elias Kifon Bongmba, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
(The original title was “Islam and Modernity in Hausa Cultural Politics: A Cultural Overview”, but it got cut down by the editor to “Islam and Modernity” to better fit in with the format of other chapters in the book. The content of the chapter is reflected in the original title, which presents modernity in a historical Islamic Hausa context. I end with a discussion of Hausa film.)
Please note that to read this scan more comfortably go to the view option of your pdf and select rotate clockwise. Also please note that there was some sort of editorial/proofreader’s error on my bibliography. I had submitted the bibliography in an abbreviated form, and the proofreader must have accidentally copied and pasted the wrong book when extending the citation. The following articles were cited to the wrong book in the publication. They should read as follows:

Stephens, Connie. 1991. “Marriage in the Hausa Tatsuniya Tradition: A Cultural and Cosmic Balance,”  in Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century, ed. Catherine Coles and Beverly Mack,  221-231. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Sule, Balaraba B. M. and Priscilla E. Starratt. 1991. “Islamic Leadership Positions for Women in Contemporary Kano Society,” in in Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century, ed. Catherine Coles and Beverly Mack, 29-49. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.


My very flawed MA thesis

McCain, Carmen. “Writing the Angel: Helon Habila’s Waiting for an Angel.” MA Thesis. Department of African Languages and Literature. University of Wisconsin, Madison. 2007.

7 responses to “Academic Writing

  1. Im asport of late Ahmed s. Nuhu rest in peace ameen

  2. Sirajo Usman Koko

    i really appreciate your effort


  4. i ‘m you
    r great fan that i listen 2 your radiobroadcast on bbc hausa some years ago. I having asking my self .where is my jamila tangaza i thought u re lost Bt thank god u re alive. I’m great fan of urs

  5. hey carmen,
    thank you very much for making your master thesis available! I worked through it because I’m writing a short term paper on the aspect of imagination in Waiting for an Angel. And I thought I’d share one of my thoughts here with you because you said you’d like comments. In chapter James of the book, Habila makes this cameo-appearance and you interpreted it as a blurring of reality and fiction. I agree with that but I think that there is another crucial point there. I think he uses his own position as a famous writer to dramatize the situation at the party. the people are very drunk and lomba, the character that most likely has the reader’s sympathy, feels alienated from them. maybe he is even disgusted by their excess in the face of the terror outside. there are all these famous people but they just get drunk; they don’t behave like the heroic political activists that lomba probably though they were. and then habila reveals himself as one of them. I think this is adressed to the reader. A message like: don’t think writers are heroes. they are just people like anyone else, in fact they might be weaker because they do not always use their privilege to fight for a cause. What do you think about this idea?
    So, thanks again for your work!!!
    All the best, Miriam

    • Hi Miriam,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I think your interpretation about writers not being heroes is a very good one, and it certainly fits into that scene, where the writers and artists are all standing around stroking each other’s egos and not doing anything useful. That is why I think it is significant that Lomba actually leaves the party and heads towards the protest. He is rejecting that kind of shallowness. So, I think you’re onto something good there. The only caution I would make is about your interpretation of Helon Habila as a “famous” author in this passage. This novel is a revision of his collection of self-published short stories Prison Stories, which includes the same passage. At the time he was writing Prison Stories, he was not a famous author in the way he is now. But he was definitely a part of the literary scene in Lagos, and I think that writing himself into the scene–vomiting like the other characters–does have the sort of self-conscious implications you imply. Good luck with your term paper! And feel free to contact me at carmenmccain (at) if you want to brainstorm any more on this. Carmen

      • Hi Carmen,
        thank you very much for the answer. I didn’t realize that Habila wrote the story when he wasn’t famous yet. It would be interesting to ask him if he wrote the scene the same way today. Anyway, I think it is a really great book. Have a good day!

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