Carmen McCain

Carmen McCain

Welcome to my site. I’m an assistant professor in the English Department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. You can visit my official Westmont page here. I have a PhD from the Department of African Languages and Literature (now the Department of African Cultural Studies) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. My research focus is on Hausa-language literature, film, and popular culture, although I am interested in African and postcolonial cultural studies more broadly. I have published in Black Camera, the  Journal of African Cinemas, the Journal of African Media Studies, The Global South, Chimurenga Chronic, and the books Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship Around the World; Facts, Fiction and African Creative Imaginations, among others (which Google Scholar sometimes keeps up with better than I do on this blog).  From 2010 to 2014, I wrote a weekly column in the Saturday paper of the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust and have written widely for other popular publications, including some translations from Hausa to English.

I did dissertation research on Hausa films in Kano, Nigeria, where I also co-coordinated the Hausa Home Video Resource Centre in the Department of Mass Communications at Bayero University from 2008 to 2011, and from 2015-2016, I taught in the Film Unit of the School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Department of English at Kwara State University, Malete.

To read my blog, which I have maintained since 2009, to read my academic writing page or other publications, or to find out about my classes (including this student blog I created for my classes at Westmont), visit the associated links here or in the header tab. To see some of my photographs, visit my Flickr site or browse through my blog. I have also been interviewed by journalists on my research. You can find a selection of such media here, including a fun meta podcast on blogging I did with the photography blogger Ade Torrent.

Although I use some of my academic research in this site, it is a personal project, related to my ventures into freelance journalism and creative writing, and should not be taken in any way as representative of Westmont College, Kwara State University, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, or Bayero University. Please note that those I interview on this blog (or those who comment) are expressing their own opinions and perspectives and not necessarily my own. I welcome comments and links to my blog; however, please do not repost anything from this blog without my permission. I also request the courtesy of letting me know when my blog is quoted for another publication. Thank you.

If you need to contact me, please email me at cmccain [at] westmont.edu or carmenmccain [at] yahoo.com.

24 responses to “About

  1. As a student of phd, why dont you go to the main source of your primary research for your data.


  2. Malam Sani, I try to do that where possible, although my blog is sort of a “working” document for my research, as opposed to a completed article or dissertation, so I don’t always have primary sources on hand. But I certainly try to where they are available and try make it quite clear where I am quoting from. Could you point out exactly which main source of primary research you are talking?


  3. Greetings from Germany. I have just posted an article on you on “Hausa Online”:



  4. Dear McCain,

    It is very interesting that you built a blog like this which give an insight on Kannywood and it affiliates.

    We are delighted with your work.

    Best Regards,

    Kannywoodonline.com Team.


  5. Talatu,

    I wish u all the best


  6. How do I subscribe to this blog?


    • Mariam, I’ve added a “subscribe by email” option, which you can see near the top of the second column. I’ve also added my blog to feedburner: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ATunanina which you can apparently add to your RSS reader, but I haven’t completely figured that one out yet. Thanks for wanting to subscribe!


  7. I am currently working on my blog/website about fashion, which is totally going to be in hausa language. Contact me through this number for more information: 008615502444014.


  8. Hi,

    I am editing a new blog from the Royal African Society in London called http://www.africanarguments.org – check it out. Please add it to your blogroll, mention it in a post, tweet it out etc etc if you like it.

    I will of course do the same for you.

    Many Thanks.

    Magnus Taylor
    African Arguments


  9. We££ i £ike dat


  10. I really admire your cause, it was nice bumping into a nigerian here on wordpress. Keep up the good, looking forward to reading more of your posts. Love Muhammed


  11. Thanks Muhammed, I appreciate your kind words!


  12. Shadrach Ukuma

    We spoke at the BSU Nollywood Conference, remember? Good luck with your research.


  13. Enjoyed your article on the Caine Prize. Can we add it to our blog – amabooksbyo.blogspot.com? Thanks, Jane


  14. ahmad m.s maidanmashi

    amazing thing that you did not look the northern movie industry with negative view i look forward to helping you with more publications and articles if you wish and also i


  15. Yayi kyau


  16. Carmen, we only spoke once – briefly – during my tour of duty here, but I was so impressed back then. Loving the blog, the whole concept, the writing. Keep going! CD


  17. Hello Carmen, Could we speak about Kano market literature and the influence of/ similarity with Hindi cinema (Bollywood)? I’m a journalist from Bombay and I’m writing a piece on Sin is a Puppy…


  18. Binta Moustapha

    Interesting write up!!! What a pity, life on Nigerian roads so very fragile. Lost my 9 years old daughter on my way to Kaduna at Makurdi. Yet to recover from the shock.


  19. Pingback: 6 – Writing Freedom

  20. I am essentially delighted to have come across this exceptional site of yours, exceptional indeed for the larger, deeper and wider interest you showed to my beloved first language Hausa, how so kind are you?.
    It has been rightly said by one of the most superfine American genus, Ralph Waldo Trine, that: “like attracts like and like builds like”. This is not only true, it is very true and I like you for you like my language.
    Carmen McCain GOD bless you abundantly, I aspire, desire, and admire you and your immortal contribution to Hausa.
    C. McCain I will truly and surely popularize and immortalize your name in the hearts and psyches of my people. Thank you so much.


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