MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins

MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins

MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins

Associate Professor of English, Penn State Greater Allegheny
Penn State Greater Allegheny | Main Building, 203


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


MaryEllen (Ellie) Higgins works on African cinema, international trauma studies, curatorial approaches to film, and memoir writing. Her books include  Hollywood’s Africa After 1994 and The Western in the Global South (coedited with Rita Kerestezi and Dayna Oscherwitz). She is a recipient of the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her articles are published in African Studies ReviewTulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Research in African Literatures, African Literature Todayand Tydskrif vir Letterkunde.

Dr. Higgins is an executive producer of Kivu Ruhorahoza's film, Europa: Based on a True Story,  and associate producer of two films by Jean-Pierre Bekolo: Mudimbe’s Order of Things and Naked Reality. She is currently writing a monograph on trauma in African cinema, in addition to a memoir about adoption.

Teaching Interests
African cinema and literature, memoir writing, trauma studies, writing and human rights

Research, Professional or Personal Interests
African cinema, international trauma studies, curatorial approaches to film, memoir writing

Selected Publications

"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, The Netherlands: Brill, in press.

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

Executive Producer, Europa: Based on a True Story, directed by Kivu Ruhorahoza, 2019.

“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: University of Rochester Press, 2018.

“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. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2018.


Ellie HIggins