Dr. Carmela Garritano is an associate professor in the Department of International Affairs and an affiliated faculty in the Africana Studies program. Her areas of specialization include African film and screen media (with a research focus on Ghana); African cultural and literary studies; and energy humanities.
Dr. Garritano works at the intersection of politics and film and media, and her research has been supported by Fulbright IIE, the West African Research Association, and the US Department of Education’s FLAS program. Trained in African area studies, her writing combines theoretically-grounded inquiry with ethnographic and archival research methods. Her first book African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History (Ohio University Press, 2013) is a historical account of movie production in Ghana, beginning with the first films of the Gold Coast Colonial Film Unit, through the struggles of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation, and finally to the emergence and growth of a loosely-configured, commercial movie industry between the late 1980s and 2010. The book was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and was awarded The First Book Award by the African Literature Association. Additionally, she is co-editor, with Kenneth W. Harrow, of A Companion to African Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019), a volume that brings together some of the most exciting writing on African film and media today. It spotlights research that draws from well-established methods, such as postcolonial theory, as well as new work informed by affect theory, film festival studies, and sound studies. Dr. Garritano also has published writing on African literature, postcolonialism, and Nollywood. Her work has appeared in top-tier journals such as The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, Black Camera, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, African Studies Review, and Research in African Literatures.
Dr. Garritano’s current book project, African Energy Worlds: Film, Media, and Art for an African Anthropocene, opens with the observation that 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 hydrocarbons 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. This book 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 is under contract with Indiana University Press and is expected to appear in 2023.
Dr. Garritano comes to INTA from International Studies. She teaches INTA 201, INTA 211, INTA 215, and INTA 409 and hopes to offer special topics courses in Energy Humanities as well as Globalization and Cinema.