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Jonathan Haynes

Jonathan Haynes

Professor of English

B.A., McGill UniversityM.A., Ph.D., Yale University


Jonathan Haynes is interested in how literature, film, and other arts are related to the cultures and societies that produce them. At first English Renaissance literature was the main focus of his studies, but then his attention shifted to Third World film and literature and African studies. Since the early 1990s he has closely followed the growth of the Nigerian film industry.

He came to Long Island University’s Southampton College in 1998 and to the Brooklyn Campus in 2004. In 2001-2002 he was the founding director of the West African Center of the Friends World Program (now LIU Global) in Kumasi, Ghana. He has also taught at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Tufts University, Albion College, Bennington College, and Columbia University; four times he has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Nigeria (at the University of Nigeria-Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, the University of Ibadan, and the University of Lagos); and he was a guest professor at the University of Cologne in Germany.

He has been the keynote speaker at conferences at the University of Johannesburg, Humboldt University in Berlin, and at half a dozen Nigerian universities and film festivals.


African studies; African film, video, and literature; colonialism and postcolonialism; English Renaissance literature



Nollywood: The Creation of Nigerian Film Genres. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2016; Ibadan: Bookcraft, 2017.

Nigerian Video Films. Ed. Jonathan Haynes. Athens: Ohio UP, 2000.

Cinema and Social Change in West Africa. By Onookome Okome and Jonathan Haynes. Jos, Nigeria: Nigerian Film Corporation, 1995.

The Social Relations of Jonson's Theater. New York: Cambridge UP, 1992.                      

The Humanist as Traveler: George Sandys's "Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610.” Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh UP, 1986.      

Journal of African Cinemas 4.1 (2012) (guest editor of special issue).

Selected articles and book chapters

“Les paradigmes universitaires face aux métamorphoses de Nollywood.” Politique Africaine 153 (2019): 129-141.

“Between the Informal Sector and Transnational Capitalism: Transformations of Nollywood.” A Companion to African Cinema. Eds. Kenneth W. Harrow and Carmela Garritano. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. 244-268.

“Diop Mambety’s Fables of the African Economy.” Camera, Commerce & Conscience. Eds. Ayobami Ojebode, Tunde Adegbola, Alemayehu Debebe Mekonnen, and Emily Comfort Maractho. Ibadan: Greenminds, 2019. 29-66.

 “Keeping Up: The Corporatization of Nollywood’s Economy and Paradigms for Studying African Screen Media.” Africa Today 64.4 (2018): 3-29.


“Anglophone West Africa: Commercial Video.” African Filmmaking: Five Formations. Ed. Kenneth W. Harrow. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 2017. 81-115.

“Nollywood and Nollywood Studies: Thoughts on the Future.” Media Studies in Nigeria: Genesis & Detours. Eds. Onookome Okome and Marcel Okhakhu. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2016. 67-88.


“Neoliberalism, Nollywood and Lagos.” Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media. Eds. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb. New York: Wallflower/Columbia UP, 2016. 59-75.

“Ola Balogun’s Lost Classics Aiye and Orun Mooru.” The Magic of Nigeria: On the Cinema of Ola Balogun. Ed. Gary Vanisian. Frankfurt am Main: Filmkollektiv Frankfurt, 2016. 177-85.

“La fondazione di Nollywood: Living in Bondage.” Lagos Calling: Nollywood e la reinvenzione del cinema in Africa. Eds. Alessandro Jedlowski and Giovanna Santanera. Ariccia, Italy: Aracne, 2015. 25-42.

“‘New Nollywood’: Kunle Afolayan.” Black Camera 5.2 (2014): 53-73.

“Foreword.” Auteuring Nollywood: Critical Perspectives on “The Figurine.” Ed. Adeshina Afolayan. Ibadan: University Press, 2014. vi-xii.

“The Nollywood Diaspora: A Video Genre.” Global Nollywood: Transnational Dimensions of an African Video Film Industry. Eds. Matthias Krings and Onookome Okome. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2013. 73-99.

“Reflections on Nollywood: Introduction to the Special Issue.” Journal of African Cinemas 4.1 (2012): 3-7.

“A Bibliography of Academic Work on Nigerian and Ghanaian Video Films.” Journal of African Cinemas 4.1 (2012): 99-133.

“African Cinema and Nollywood: Contradictions.” Situations 4.1 (2011): 67-90.

“What Is to Be Done?  Film Studies and Nigerian and Ghanaian Videos.”  Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: FESPACO Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Eds. Ralph A. Austen and Mahir Saul. Athens: Ohio UP, 2010. 11-25.

“A Literature Review: Nigerian and Ghanaian Videos.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 22.1 (2010): 105-120.

“Nollywood.”  International Encyclopedia of Communication. Ed. Wolfgang Donsbach. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.  Vol. 7: 3322-3324.

“Nigerian Videos, at Home and Abroad.” Global Civil Society 2007/8: Communicative Power and Democracy. Eds. Martin Albrow et al.   London and Los Angeles: Sage, 2008. 204-207.

“Media: Cinema.” New Encyclopedia of Africa. Second Edition. Eds. John Middleton and Joseph C. Miller. Detroit: Scribner’s, 2008. Vol. 3: 516-518.

“Nollywood in Lagos, Lagos in Nollywood Films.” Africa Today 54.2 (2007): 130-150. Rpt. in Neoliberalism and Global Cinema. Eds. Jyotsna Kapur and Keith Wagner. London: Routledge, 2011. 309-327. Trans. as “Nollywood en Lagos, Lagos en las películas de Nollywood.” Archivos de la Filmoteca 62 (June 2009): 72-97.

 “Nnebue: The Anatomy of Power.”  Film International 28 (5.4) (2007): 30-40.  Rpt. in Critical Interventions 8 (2011): 204-17.

“Video Boom: Nigeria and Ghana.”  Postcolonial Text 3.2 (2007).  <> 1-10.

“TK in NYC: An Interview with Tunde Kelani.”  Postcolonial Text 3.2 (2007). Postcolonial org.  <>  1-16.

“Political Critique in Nigerian Video Films.”  African Affairs 105/421 (2007): 511-533. 

“‘I Was Born at the Right Time’: Ojaide’s Autobiography.”  The Guardian (Lagos) August 26, 2005. 


“Nollywood: What’s in a Name?”  The Guardian (Lagos) July 3, 2005: 56, 58.  Rpt. ITPAN News 2.6 (2005): 11-12, Film International 28 (5.4) (2007): 106-108.

“Il Boom del video: La Nigeria e il Ghana trasformano la cinematografia Africana/ Le Boom de la vidéo: Le Nigéria et le Ghana transforment la cinématographie africaine/ Video Boom: Nigeria and Ghana Transform African Film.”  15o Festival Cinema Africano d’Asia e America Latina.  Ed. Alessandra Speciale.  Milan: Editrice Il Castoro, 2005.  176-93.

“Africans Abroad: A Theme in Film and Video.”  Africa & Mediterraneo 45 (December 2003): 22-29.

“Mobilizing Yoruba Popular Culture: Babangida Must Go.”  Africa 73.1 (March 2003): 122-38.

“Le boum de la vidéo au Nigéria.”  CinémAction 106 (1er trimester, 2003).  Cinémas africains, une oasis dans le désert?  Special number ed. Samuel Lelievre.  165-72.

“Devaluation and the Video Boom: Economics and Thematics.”  Money Struggles and City Life: Devaluation in Ibadan and Other Urban Centers in Southern Nigeria, 1986-1996.  Eds. Jane I. Guyer, LaRay Denzer, and Adigun Agbaje. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002.  207-17.        

“African Filmmaking and the Postcolonial Predicament: Quartier Mozart and Aristotle’s Plot.”  African Cinema: Postcolonial and Feminist Readings.  Ed. Kenneth Harrow.  Lawrenceville, NJ: Africa World Press, 1999. 23-43.   Rpt. in Cinema and Social Discourse in Cameroon.  Ed. Alexie Tcheuyap.  Bayreuth, Germany: Bayreuth African Studies, 2005.  111-36.

“Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian Video Films.”  By Jonathan Haynes and Onookome Okome.  Research in African Literatures 29.3 (Fall 1998): 106-28. Rpt. in  Nigerian Video Films.  Ed. Jonathan Haynes.  Ibadan, Nigeria: Kraft Books for the Nigerian Film Corporation, 1997. Revised and expanded second edition, Athens: Ohio UP, 2000. 51-88.

“The Pan-African Film Festival.”  Post Express, March 26, 1997: 27.

“Perspectives on the African City: Les Guerisseurs.”  Glendora Review 2.1 (1997): 71-4.

“Returning to the African Village: Sango Malo and Ta Dona.”  Jump Cut 40 (1996): 62-66.

“Nigerian Cinema: Structural Adjustments.”  Research in African Literatures 26.3 (Fall 1995): 97-119. Rpt. in Cinema and Social Change in West Africa by Onookome Okome and Jonathan Haynes, Jos, Nigeria: Nigerian Film Corporation, 1995, revised edition 1997; and in African Cinema: Postcolonial and Feminist Readings.  Ed. Kenneth Harrow.  Lawrenceville, NJ: African World P, 1999. 143-75.

“Structural Adjustments of Nigerian Comedy: Baba Sala.”  Passages 5.1 (Fall 1994): 17-20.


Guggenheim Fellowship

Fulbright Senior Scholar Teaching and Research Fellowships

Lagos Studies Association Distinguished Scholar Award

Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Single Scholarly Achievement

Lifetime Achievement Award, Nigerian Film Corporation

Life Member, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center Residency

American Council of Learned Societies Grants-in-Aid