Zimbabwe's Cinematic Arts

Zimbabwe's Cinematic Arts

Language, Power, Identity
Katrina Daly Thompson
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/13/2012
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00646-2
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This timely book reflects on discourses of identity that pervade local talk and texts in Zimbabwe, a nation beset by political and economic crisis. As she explores questions of culture that play out in broadly accessible local and foreign film and television, Katrina Daly Thompson shows how viewers interpret these media and how they impact everyday life, language use, and thinking about community. She offers a unique understanding of how media reflect and contribute to Zimbabwean culture, language, and ethnicity.

Author Bio

Katrina Daly Thompson is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics and an affiliated faculty member in African Studies, the Center for the Study of Women, and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.


“A welcome corrective to the lack of serious scholarship in this area and of interest to a variety of disciplines, in particular, communication studies, ethnic and area studies, and media and cultural studies.”
 — Lucia Saks, University of Cape Town

“A nuanced and convincing approach to evaluating the role of media in shaping African identities.”
 — James Burns, Clemson University

“Katrina Daly Thompson has made a fine contribution to scholarship on African cinema . . . This is a book that will enrich discussions of African film and media studies for years to come.”
 — African Studies Review

“Thompson (UCLA) analyzes identity discourses through cinematic arts--films, documentaries, television programs, videos--consumed (whether or not produced) in Zimbabwe. . . . Beside bringing issues of race, financing, ethnicity, and language to the discussion, she also considers the 2001 Broadcasting Services Act, which was meant to liberalize the field and stem Western influence. . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

“Katrina Daly Thompson's study of Zimbabwean film and television presents a valuable addition to the ever-expanding corpus of analytical and historical studies on African film and media. ”
 — Africa

“Most compelling in Thompson’s study is her close attention to uses of language and culture, which she argues contest state-defined and state-controlled meaning in broadcast media. Recognizing culture as a socially negotiated process, the book uses critical discourse analysis to interrogate power structures and flows. ”
 — African Arts

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Cultural Identity in Discourse
1. A Crisis of Representation
2. Cinematic Arts before the 2001 Broadcasting Services Act: Two Decades of Trying to Build a Nation
3. Authorship and Identities: What Makes a Film "Local"?
4. Changing the Channel: Using the Foreign to Critique the Local
5. Power, Citizenship, and Local Content: A Critical Reading of the Broadcasting Services Act
6. Language as a Form of Social Change: Public Debate in Local Languages
Conclusion: Possibilities for Democratic Change