Chijioke Azuawusiefe

Chijioke Azuawusiefe

PhD Candidate


229 Cohen Hall

Chijioke studies religion and film, with emphasis on Nollywood, the cinema of Nigeria. His research examines the interplay of religion, media, and culture in local and transnational contexts, especially of Africa and African Diaspora. Chijioke’s dissertation, “Nollywood and Popular Religion: Productions of Prosperity, Gender, and the Supernatural in Nigerian Cinema,” combines religious studies and cinema studies analyses to investigate the role of film in constructing the everydayness of life influenced by religion in contemporary Nigeria. A Jesuit priest, Chijioke has been a chaplain to the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria and a consultant to the Nollywood Media and Research Center, Lagos. 


MA, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

MSc., Global Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

MA, Global Communication, University of Southern California (Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism), Los Angeles

MLA, Extension Studies, Journalism, Harvard University

BA (Hons.), Philosophy (summa cum laude), University of Zimbabwe

BA, Communication Science (with distinction), University of South Africa

BA, Theology, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi

Research Interests


Religion and Film

Cinema and Media Studies

Religion and Popular Culture

Religion in Africa

Film and Gender


Research Areas
• Material and Visual Culture
• Politics and Publics
• Christianity
• Childhood, Gender, and Sexuality

Courses Taught

Fall 2017: Teaching Assistant, “Islam in the Modern World”

Spring 2016: Teaching Assistant, “Love, Sex, and Death”

Fall 2015: Teaching Assistant, “Gods, Ghosts, and Monsters”

Selected Publications

“Nollywood and Pentecostalism in Africa: Preaching Salvation, Propagating the Supernatural.” CrossCurrents special issue: “Cinema as Public Religion,” edited by S. Brent Plate (accepted for publication).

“Telling Africa’s Story: Chinua Achebe and the Power of Narratives.” Chinua Achebe and the Igbo World: Between Fiction, Fact, and Historical Representation. Eds. Chima J. Korieh and Ijeoma Nwajiaku (forthcoming).

“Ikenga: Reimagining an Iconography of Cultural Achievement.” Igbo Studies Review 8 (2020): 37-56.

“Prologue: Journalists and Personal Journalism in the Age of Social Media.” Encounters: Lessons from my Journalism Career, by Azuh Arinze (2020): pp. xiii-xviii. Lagos: Yes Ventures.

“Chinua Achebe’s ‘“Chi’ in Igbo Cosmology’: Revisiting a Classic,” Igbo Studies Review, 7 (2019): 29-46.


International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture

Society for Cinema and Media Studies

International Communication Association

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Igbo Studies Association

African Studies Association

Lagos Studies Association