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Manthia Diawara is a Malian writer, filmmaker, cultural theorist, scholar, and art historian. Diawara holds the title of University Professor at New York University, where he is Director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs. A native of Mali, he received his education in France and later traveled to the United States for his university studies. He has taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Black-American Cinema: Aesthetics and Spectatorship (1993), African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992), and In Search of Africa (1998). He has published widely on the topic of film and literature of the Black Diaspora. Diawara serves on the board of TransAfrica Forum, alongside Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, and Walter Mosely, which supported Barack Obama’s successful candidacy for President in 2008.