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Senior Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts, SOAS, University of London

Lindiwe Dovey is a scholar, teacher, filmmaker, and film curator, and her work aims to combine film scholarship and practice in mutually enlightening ways.

As a filmmaker she has concentrated on making adaptations of literature (for example, of Olive Schreiner and Vladimir Nabokov’s writing), and adaptation and cultural appropriation are also topics she has reflected on in depth in her scholarly work – for example, in her first book, African film and Literature: Adapting Violence to the Screen (2009), as well as in numerous journal articles and book chapters. What primarily interests her about adaptation are the power dynamics involved in the retelling of certain stories, and the fascinating ways that people remake and reinterpret narratives in new moments and new contexts. In a recent study, for example, she looks at the ways that Ugandan veejays creatively transform foreign films for local audiences in Uganda.

As a film curator, Lindiwe has been instrumental in raising the profile and visibility of African film in the UK. She is the Co-Founder of Film Africa, for which she was also the Co-Director and the Film Programme Director in 2011 and 2012; and the Founding Director of the Cambridge African Film Festival, the UK’s longest running annual African film festival. In her scholarly work she has combined in-depth research into the exhibition, circulation, and curation of African film with reflections on her own experiences of founding, directing, and curating film festivals, most notably in her new book Curating Africa in the Age of Film Festivals (2015), and in articles in journals such as Screen, Cinema Journal, Scope, Jump Cut, Journal of African Cultural Studies, and Feminist Africa.

Lindiwe is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the 2011 SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize, a Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding scholarship and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts, SOAS, University of London