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Carmela Garritano

Photo of Dr. Carmela Garritano
Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • International Studies
  • (979) 845-2124
  • ACAD 229D

Current Research Projects

Professor Garritano writes about African film and media, Ghanaian movies, Nollywood, and African literature. Her research interests also include energy humanities, global South cultural production under globalization, film theory, Critical Race Theory, and environmental racism.

African Energy Worlds: Film and Media for an African Anthropocene

Africa is an energy paradox. Uniquely vulnerable to sea-level rise, drought, and other extreme weather events produced by global warming, it supplies a sizable percentage of the fossil fuels responsible for that very warming. Africa has become a frontier for small-scale renewable energy projects and, at the same time, its expanding middle classes contribute ever-larger amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. Despite Africa’s centrality to the planet’s energy future, it remains marginal in the emergent field of energy humanities. My current book project, African Energy Worlds: Film and Media for an African Anthropocene, joins the work of energy humanists in analyzing the cultural and social dimensions of energy forms and systems. Its critique functions as a crucial part of the process of undoing our deep dependence on fossil fuels and advancing equitable energy transition, massively complex undertakings mandated by climate crisis. The book proposes a novel approach to interpreting African cinema: an energy analytics that foregrounds energy—whether manifest as a theme in narrative, an unremarked feature of mise-en- scène, or a material experience—in readings that draw out the “sensory realism” of African films that exploit cinematic form to stress the temporal and physical features of human interactions with energy. It also analyzes prestige and genre films made by a new generation of transnational artists who revise global genre formulas to call out environmental racism and demand energy justice. The films studied make sensible the energetic aspects of life in the ecological mesh that is planet Earth and ground us in the everyday of the African postcolony, bringing attention to Africans’ claims to access to the energy networks that undergird modernity.

Courses Taught

INTS 211: Foundations of Cultural Studies (F 2018)
INTS 215: Global Cinema (S 2019)
INTS 409: Neoliberalism, Globalization, and Culture
INTS 489: Energy, the Environment, and African Cultural Production

Recent Publications

A Companion to African Cinema, co-edited with Kenneth W. Harrow. Wiley-Blackwell, December 2018. 512 pages.

African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History. Ohio University Press, 2013. 284 pages.
• Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2013
• Selected for The First Book Award of 2013 by the African Literature Association

Recent Articles
“Email Scams, Nollywood Movies, and the New African Literary Novel: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s I Do not Come to You by Chance.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 51. No. 4, Winter 2021, 18-35.

“The Entrepreneurial Feminist Subject of New Screen Media from Ghana: Labor, Pleasure, and Power.” South Central Review, vol., 37, no. 2, 2020, pp. 4-15.

“Waiting on the Past: Uranium Futures in Arlit, Deuxième Paris.” Modern Fiction Studies, special issue, Literatures of Extraction, forthcoming in 2020.

“Living Precariously in the African Postcolony: Debt and Labor Relations in the Films of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.” The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58.2 (Winter 2019): 23-45.

“The Materiality of Genre: Analog and Digital Ghosts in Video Movies from Ghana.” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 4.2 (April 2017): 191-206.