Professor Will Higbee

Professor William Higbee to give his inaugural lecture, ‘Cinéma-monde: The Transnational Reach of Moroccan Cinema’.

A professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Will took up a lectureship at Exeter in 2002, after completing his PhD at the university. His research focuses primarily on French and Francophone cinema, with a particular emphasis on immigrant and post-colonial cinema in France and the cinemas of the Maghreb.

Will’s current research is centred on a three-year AHRC project on Transnational Moroccan Cinema, involving a team of academics from the UK, Morocco, Belgium and the USA. The project attempts to account for and analyse the global reach of Moroccan cinema, as the third largest film industry in Africa today and emerged from Will’s contention that the study of an individual national cinema is necessarily connected to broader questions of how cinema is organised and functions in relation to transnational, regional and diasporic networks. He has published widely in these areas and has been invited to participate in film festivals and symposia in France, the USA and North Africa.

In his inaugural lecture, Will considers the specific case of transnational Moroccan cinema. Though relatively unknown by Western audiences, Moroccan cinema has, since the late 1990s, emerged as one of the most dynamic national cinemas within Africa and the Arab world. Through an analysis of film festivals as alternative distribution networks, the (cultural) politics of international coproduction and the key contribution made by filmmakers from the Moroccan diaspora, Will’s lecture will examine to what extent the rise of Moroccan ‘national’ cinema has been shaped by its transnational dimension.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Higbee said ‘even though it has primarily been thought of in terms of the national, cinema has been, from its very inception, a transnational medium. The aim of this current research project, as with my inaugural lecture, is to better understand how analysing cinema through a transnational lens allows researchers and filmmakers to move away from some of the more limiting notions of Moroccan cinema as a small, post-colonial cinema of the ‘global south’, predominantly defined by its relationship to France as the former coloniser. In truth, the reach and diversity of Moroccan cinema is far greater than that.’

To book a place at the lecture please contact: or tel: 01392 726315/4231.


Date: 4 May 2017

Read more University News