Sunya

Samhita Sunya

Assistant Professor of Cinema

041 New Cabell Hall

Office Hours: M/W 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Class Schedule:

 

Spring 2019

TuTh 9:30 - 10:45 AM: "Transnational Circuits of Cinema: Intro to Middle East - South Asia Film History"

Fall 2018

"Via Asia" Introductory Forum Course (Co-Taught with Professor Natasha Heller)

"Film Festivals & Global Media Cultures: Middle East - South Asia Spotlight"

Spring 2018

On research leave at the Whitney & Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies at Yale University

Fall 2017

"Transnational Circuits of Cinema: Intro to Middle East - South Asia Film History"

"Film Festivals & Global Media Cultures: Middle East - South Asia Spotlight"

Spring 2017

"Cinephilia & Global Modernity"

"A Thousand and One Nights at the Cinema"

Fall 2016

"Transnational Circuits of Cinema: Intro to Middle East - South Asia Film History"

"Cinematic Shakespeare: Middle East – South Asia Histories of Shakespeare on Film”

Specialties:

Middle East studies, South Asia studies, world film history, sound studies, visual culture, postcolonial theory, contemporary literature

Bio:

After completing my PhD at Rice University (2014), I joined the American University of Beirut as an Assistant Professor of Visual Culture.  My location in Lebanon for two years (2014 - 2016) complemented my earlier fieldwork at the National Film Archive of India, enabling me to further probe postwar circulation histories of Hindi film/songs across the Middle East.  Supported by a Spring 2018 residence at Yale University and a 2018-2019 Mellon Humanities Fellowship, I have been working on a manuscript titled Sirens of Modernity: World Cinema Via Bombay, which historicizes the emergence of “world cinema” as a category in the politics of the Cold War, and the manner in which Hindi film/songs negotiated this category.  My interests span world film history; South / West Asian cinemas; intersections of audio-visual media and literature; and sound studies.  I also have a curatorial background in the collaborative administration of film series and festivals.  I teach survey courses and specialized seminars in Middle East - South Asia film histories, in addition to Middle East - South Asia-focused thematic courses on topics such as cinephilia, adaptation, and genre; methods courses in areas such as film programming, sound studies, and film festival studies; among so many other possibilities that lie ahead! 

 

Select publications:

2019 – [Forthcoming] "From Seoul to Cinemascapes: The Private Lives of Contemporary Cine-Tourism in (and out) of India," Robert Ji-Song Ku, Sharon Lee, Monika Mehta Eds., Pop Empires: Transnational and Diasporic Flows of India and Korea, University of Hawaii Press: 2019, pp. 195-208.

2019 – "An Interview with Aden-Based Director Amr Gamal, in Jadaliyaa E-zine, Arab Studies Institute

2017 – “Moving Towards prem nagar: An Intimate Genealogy of the ‘City of Love’ and the Lyrical Worlds of Hindustani Film Songs,” in “Aesthetics of Space in Indian Cinema” Special Issue of positions: asia critique 25:1, Duke University Press, pp. 51-99

2016 – Film Festival Review – Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon. In Jadaliyaa E-zine, Arab Studies Institute

2013 – “‘It is Written’ (in Invisible Ink): Slumdog Millionaire's Sfx and the Realist Overwriting of Bollywood Spectacle,” Ajay Gehlawat Ed., The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology, Anthem Books: 2013, pp. 121-139.

Select curatorial works:

2018 - "Sadat Hassan Manto from Story to Screen: A Special Screening & Conversation with (Screen)Writer/Poet/Dramatist Sarmad Sehbai," in collaboration with Mehr Farooqi and Bilal Hashmi, November 2018, University of Virginia

2018 - "Rites of Remembrance from the Global South: Screening Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities," November 2018, Virginia Film Festival

2018 - "Letters of Love (LOL): From the Middle East to South Asia - A Film Series of Contemporary Genre Comedies in U.S. Premieres," November 2018, Virginia Film Festival

2018 - "Letters of Love (LOL): From the Middle East to South Asia - A Film Series of Contemporary Genre Comedies in Special U.S. Preview Presentations," April 2018, Yale University

2017 - "Migrations and Mediations: The Politics of Movement" in collaboration with co-curators Nilo Couret & EJ Basa, DePaul University, Society for Cinema & Media Studies Annual Conference

2016 - "Urban Intimacies," May 2016, American University of Beirut