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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 interests shifted to Third World film and literature and African studies. For two decades he has been closely following the growth of the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood.

He came to Long Island University’s Southampton College in 1998 and to Brooklyn 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, and spent three years in Nigeria as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Nigeria-Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, and the University of Ibadan.  He was a guest professor at the University of Cologne in Germany.


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



Nollywood: The Creation of Nigerian Film Genres. U of Chicago P, 2016.

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

“Neoliberalism, Nollywood and Lagos.” Global Cinematic Cities: New landscapes of film and media. Eds. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb. New York: Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2016. 59-75.

“Ola Balogun’s Lost Classics Aiye and Orun Mooru.” The Magic of Nigeria: On the cinema of Ola Balogun. Ed. Filmkollektiv Frankfurt. 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 in Lagos, Lagos in Nollywood Films.” Africa Today 54.2 (2007): 130-150.

 “Nnebue: The Anatomy of power.”  Film International 28 (5.4) (2007): 30-40.

“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. 

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

“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.

“Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian video films.”  By Jonathan Haynes and Onookome Okome.  Research in African Literatures 29.3 (Fall 1998): 106-28.

“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.


Guggenheim Fellowship

Fulbright Senior Scholar Teaching and Research Fellowships

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