Performing & Media Arts Presentation Series (PMAPS) Colloquium Fall 2022

Dr. Kareem Khubchandani and Dr. Samantha Iwowo are the distinguished speakers for the Fall 2022 PMAPS Colloquium.

Kareem Khubchandani is Associate Professor in theater, dance, and performance studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020), co-editor of Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2021), and guest editor of the "Critical Aunty Studies" special issue of Text and Performance Quarterly.

Samantha Iwowo (Ph.D) is Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, UK. Her research and praxis which lie in Postcolonialism with leanings in Transnational-Cinema Studies support creative industries, cultural heritage and challenge marginalisation. The outputs from these researches reflect a fusion of her industry practice, scholarship and education delivery: She has led the course-revalidation process of the MA Directing programme at Bournemouth University. As research-consultant, she diversified the film library of the London Met-Film School UK, across its Masters courses. She co-authored a chapter in the 2nd ed. of the SAGE Handbook of Leadership (publication, 2022), thus, initiating the intersection of Leadership Studies with postcolonial African Cinema. Iwowo is currently working on a monograph on decolonising film directing, commissioned by Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group). 

Beside traditional research, Iwowo’s praxis entails fifty published screenplays, including episodes of Tinsel (2008 - ), Nigeria’s longest-running daily drama series, and the internationally celebrated feature Oloibiri (2016). Made in collaboration with Student Emmy and Academy Awards winning director, Curtis Graham, Oloibiri premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, 2015. Iwowo has also directed five films, like the AHRC-funded film, Articulations of Politics in Nigeria (2022) and crowdfunded drama, Paint Brush (forthcoming), whicc explores knife-crime menace in multicultural London. She is also currently developing a research drama series, Sparrow’s Song, in collaboration with celebrated Nollywood producer, Rogers Ofime, and a transnational crew of HE students, including Miss Rejoice Abutsa.

The schedule of Fall 2022 PMAPS events is as follows:

Aunty Aesthetics, or More Ways to be an Aunty, a talk Dr. Kareem Khubchandani
Friday, October 21st, 3:00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. , Film Forum and on Zoom 

Aunties are known to be terrifying figures, domineering and difficult, overbearing to younger generations. They are especially known for managing and curtailing desire, whether shaming you for that extra piece of cake you are eyeing, or blabbing to your parents about your nighttime escapes. As such, they have become the butt of the joke, particularly in meme culture that critiques older generation's outmoded style and politics. This talk revisits the hegemonic figure of the South Asian aunty in performance, TV, literature, and visual culture to detail what paying attention to her aesthetics can teach us about the queer and trans futures she makes possible rather than forecloses.

Divas, Drag Queens, Aunties, and Other Academic Personas,  a workshop by Dr. Kareem Khubchandani (co-sponsored by FGSS)
Saturday, October 22nd, 3:00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m., Location TBD 

The academy requires us to perform, to conduct our bodies in a governed and regimented way, to speak and dress and travel and teach according to rules often unspoken, but quickly learned. What if we take this call to perform seriously, and assert control and limits over this performance demanded by neoliberal institutions? This discussion draws on Dr. Khubchandani's creative, research, and pedagogical practice to imagine the possibilities of performance in surviving and enjoying academia. Must watch (35 mins) in advance. Please bring to the workshop a syllabus that you teach / want to teach.

A Trajectory of Screen-Decolonisation: Centring Ubuntu in Film Directing, a talk by Dr. Samantha Iwowo
Friday, November 4th 3:00 p.m. Film Forum and on Zoom

In the United Kingdom (UK), emerging independent filmmakers and Higher Education (HE) students of filmmaking, typically contend with budget and time constraints, in the course of production. Several must also negotiate broader tensions of production collaboration like the ‘gendering’ of (leadership) roles, team-work fatigue, and auteurial subtexts of directing which invisibilizes the value of collaboration to filmmaking. Data from my current research on decolonising film directing supports that there is a paucity of studies to mediate these tensions, via a combined paradigm of diversity and decolonisation.

Thus, drawing on research and scholarship in film studies/practice, as well as filmmaker-experiences, this lecture will accent these dynamics, from an intersecting location of Postcolonialism, African Cinema, and the 

Ubuntu Philosophy. In proposing a strategy for mediating the tensions, it will also invite the industry example of the Nollywood production template, together with pedagogical examples from supervising undergraduate, masters and doctoral film productions, at UK HEs. 

Register in advance here:


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