Brian Smithson

Brian Smithson


Office Hours: 

Wednesday & Thursday, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM, or by appointment


My work focuses on Yorùbá movie production along the Benin–Nigeria border. I explore how this small-scale moviemaking allows producers to negotiate strategies for peaceful Christian–Muslim coexistence, express mutual veneration for indigenous Yorùbá divinities, and form new connections between rural production sites and the world beyond. In this way, moviemakers claim a more ethical cosmopolitanism that rebuts the attitudes of the larger film industries that surround them, Nigeria's Nollywood and Benin's state-funded art cinema.

religious encounter
West Africa

Selected Grants

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Piety in Progress: Video Filmmaking and Religious Encounter in Benin awarded by National Science Foundation (PI-Fellow). 2014 to 2016

Smithson, B. "Review of Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics by Akin Adesokan." African Studies Quarterly 14.1–2 (2013): 115-116.

Smithson, B. "An Overlooked Medium." Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society 39.1 (2011): 687-691.