MaryEllen Higgins

MaryEllen Higgins is an associate professor of English at the Greater Allegheny Campus of Pennsylvania State University. She is the coauthor of The Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. Her publications include articles and book chapters in Research in African Literatures, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, African Literature Today, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Perspectives on African Literatures at the Millennium, and Broadening the Horizon: Critical Introductions to Amma Darko.

Listed in: African Film · African Studies · Film and Video - History and Criticism · Media and Film Studies

Photo of MaryEllen Higgins

Hollywood’s Africa after 1994 investigates Hollywood’s colonial film legacy in the postapartheid era, and contemplates what has changed in the West’s representations of Africa.

“Chinua Achebe shocked Western sensibilities in 1977 when he criticized Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness for reducing Africa to a mere ‘setting and backdrop’ for white consciousness to act out its ‘metaphysical battlefield.’ Hollywood’s Africa after 1994 exposes major Western filmmakers and their celebrity casts who still don’t get the message. They continue to focus on themselves with their cameras and projectors and not on Africa, yet thinking they come close to it, they shed crocodile tears.”

Charles Cantalupo, Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature and African Studies at Penn State University, and author of Joining Africa: From Anthills to Asmara