Queer Bodies in African Films | National Inquiry Services Centre

Queer Bodies in African Films

Queer Bodies in African Films
By Gibson Ncube
Size: 170x 240 mm
Pages: 178 pages
ISBN 13: 978-1-920033-99-6 (paperback)
Published: December 2022
Publishers: NISC (Pty) Ltd
Recommended Retail Price: R 325.00
Cover: Paperback

About the book

Queer Bodies in African Films makes two overarching interventions. First, the book focuses on how queer bodies in films are texts. As sites invested with multiple and often overlapping discourses and narratives, queer bodies in films textualise silenced narratives and histories. They are inscribed with more than just desire, eroticism and sexuality. Second, this book sets out to read selected queer films from North Africa against and together with some from sub-Saharan Africa. It bring into productive conversation these broad regions of the continent, which in African Studies, are often demarcated along linguistic and geographic lines. This makes it possible to demonstrate how queer bodies, in their multiplicity, are disruptive figures whose materiality calls for a rethinking of how gender and sexual identities are not just performed and staged but also constructed and embodied. 

In examining diverse films in various languages and from different parts of the African continent, Queer Bodies in Africa Films shows that queer African experiences and cultural productions have developed beyond the hegemony of South Africa. Furthermore. its nuanced reading of films from differen geographic zones and time frames contends that a focus on the body allows for a unique understanding of what queerness is and means within the context of Africa.

Reviewer’s Comments

This is an excellent book...It theorises queer and Africa in relation to each other and specifically considers bodies as texts. […] The specific strength of the book is that it creates an archive on how queer bodies are represented in African film, which is an extremely valuable contribution. […] It was an enjoyable and easy read, which is always a bonus for an academic book.
Grant Andrews, School of Education, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 

The strength of the book is the author's expertise on North African cinema, which is a region often very overlooked in scholarship on queer Africa. The focus on the body is also unique.
Lindsey Green-Simms Department of Literature, American University, Washington DC, USA

Part of the African Humanities Series

About the Authors

Gibson Ncube holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University where he lectures in the department of Modern Foreign Languages. He has published widely in the fields of African comparative literature, gender and queer studies as well as cultural studies. He is the author of the book La sexualité queer au Maghreb à travers la literature (2018). He has co-edited the following books: Power, Politics & Production: Essays on Ndebele Cultural Production in Zimbabwe (2020), Cultures of Change in Contemporary Zimbabwe: Socio-Political Transition from Mugabe to Mnangagwa (2021) and The Zimbabwean Crisis after Mugabe: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2021). He has held several fellowships such as the African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowship (American Council for Learned Societies), the Iso Lomso Fellowship at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study as well as a fellowship at the National Humanities Center (North Carolina, USA). He sits on the boards of the Journal of Literary Studies, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies and the Canadian Journal of African Studies as well as the Governing Intimacies in the Global South book series at Manchester University Press. Between 2020 and 2022, he served as co-convenor of the Queer African Studies Association (a coordinate organisation of the African Studies Association, USA) and was the 2021 Mary Kingsley Zochonis Distinguished Lecturer (African Studies Association UK & Royal African Society).


Introduction: Filmed bodies, desires, and sexualities 
Chapter 1: Silent and silenced bodies in Maghrebian queer films 
Chapter 2: Ambivalent queer bodies in Egyptian films 
Chapter 3: Legible queer and trans bodies in East African films 
Chapter 4: The intersectional body in South African films 
Afterword: What future(s) for queer bodies in African films? 


Order Enquiries

You may contact NISC to purchase this book, however other purchasing options are available. Please see ordering details below:


Order online through from the African Books CollectiveAmazon or order from your local book store.


Order from the African Books Collective.