Current Institutional Affiliation
Independent Consultant

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
"God is in the Medium": Evangelical Filmmaking and Salvation in Southwestern Nigeria

For my dissertation research, I propose to study the complex emotional, social and political dynamics that inform Nigerian evangelical film production. On the one hand, I am interested in reading the films as cultural commodities that play on and reinforce popular understandings of salvation, conversion and spiritual community. In this respect, my study of film production and circulation will offer deeper understandings of the ways in which visual media engage and help to shape religious affiliations and “movements.” On the other hand, I am also interested in understanding how the films, and their tremendous popularity in southwestern Nigeria, speak to literatures and debates on both the Nigerian nation state and African Pentecostal movements more generally. While the economic and cultural aspects of the Nigerian video and film industry have been studied to some extent by anthropologists, my specific interest lies in the examination of transnational evangelical production companies and in understanding how the forms of sentimental and political community encouraged by evangelical media and video, overlap and/or compete with understandings of national belonging, community, and other affiliations. In this respect, my research promises to contribute insights into the impact of religious media on emerging forms of political subjectivity and attachment in Nigeria.