MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor, English
Affiliate Faculty, Rock Ethics Institute
Main Building, 203
Penn State Greater Allegheny
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132

MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins teaches comparative literature, film studies, and
writing courses at the Pennsylvania State University, Greater Allegheny. Her
books include The Western in the Global South (co-edited with Rita Kerestezi and
Dayna Oscherwitz, Routledge), Hollywood’s Africa After 1994 (Ohio University
Press), and the Historical Dictionary of French Cinema (with Dayna Oscherwitz,
Scarecrow Press). She has published articles in Research in African Literatures,
African Literature Today, African Studies Review, Empedocles: European Journal
for the Philosophy of Communication, Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, and Tulsa Studies
in Women’s Literature, among other scholarly venues. She is an executive
producer of Kivu Ruhorahoza's films, Father’s Day (2022) and Europa: Based on a
True Story (2019), and associate producer of two films by Jean-Pierre
Bekolo: Naked Reality (2016) and Mudimbe’s Order of Things (2015). Her current
project is a monograph that examines representations of structural trauma in
African cinema. In 2020, she received a George W. Atherton Award for Excellence
in Teaching.

African cinema, international trauma studies, curatorial approaches to film,
memoir writing

"J.M. Coetzee’s Unmooring of the Western." In David Rio, Marek Paryz, and
Christopher Conway (Eds.), The Literary Western in the Global Imagination.
Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2022.

"What is in the Draft: A Reflection on Precarity in Kivu Ruhorahoza’s Europa:
Based on a True Story." Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of
Communication, 13:1, 2022.

"The Ghostly Matter of Asylum in Kivu Ruhorahoza’s A Tree Has Fallen." Tydskrif
vir Letterkunde (University of Pretoria, South Africa), 56(1), 2019.

"At the Intersection of Trauma, Precarity, and African Cinema: A Reflection on
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Grigris." In Kenneth W. Harrow and Carmela Garritano
(Eds.), The Companion to African Cinema. Malden, MA, Oxford (UK) and West Sussex
(UK): Wiley Blackwell, 2018.

"Speculative Migration and the Project of Futurity in Sylvestre Amoussou's
Africa Paradis." In Cajetan Iheka and Jack Taylor (Eds.), African Migration
Narratives: Politics, Race, and Space. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester
Press, 2018.

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin

Invited lecture, March 16, 2022. "Understanding Trauma Through African Films."
University of Rochester, NY. Part of a series co-sponsored by the Mellon
Humanities for Life Grant, the Margaret Parkhurst Morey Fund, and the Department
of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Rochester.

Conference presentation, May 20, 2022. "The Western as a Transcultural Genre."
Transcultural Perspectives in Language, Literature, and Culture in the 21st
Century Conference, Le Mans Université, Le Mans, France.

Invited lecture, February 24, 2021. "What's in a Draft? Kivu Ruhorahoza’s
Europa: Based on a True Story." Sponsored by the Africa at Noon Seminar Series,
University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Conference presentation, January 7, 2020. "The Persistence of Trauma in African
Cinema." Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Virtual.

Panel discussion, October 8, 2020. "Immigration and The Infiltrators: A Virtual
Screening and Conversation with Alex Rivera," Department of Spanish, Italian,
and Portuguese, Pennsylvania State University.