Faculty and Staff

Alka Kurian

Part-Time Lecturer

M.A. M.Phil., French, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
M.A. Film and Cultural Studies (audited only), University of Sunderland, UK
Ph.D. Film and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK

Office: UW1-351
Phone: 425-352-3461
Email: Akurian@uwb.edu
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-1713

Teaching

I teach a range of courses that focus on film, media, gender studies, and the human rights discourse. My background is in South Asian diasporic film and literature where I examine the politics of representation of the issues of race, ethnicity, gender, identity, sexuality, politics, religion, neo-colonialism, and globalization.

The focus of my teaching and is in unraveling a specific form of post-colonial gendered cinema where the cinematic narrative is viewed as an act of political engagement with the world and a site of feminist struggle. I am interested in South Asian oppositional cinematic narratives (non-mainstream, documentary, or experimental) with the view to understanding the everyday struggles of women and identify the development of their political consciousness. My interest in alternative cinematic practices of South Asia is closely allied to my fascination with the representational politics of Bollywood, a major cultural site in India that produces, perpetuates, circulates and problematizes dominant ideology both at home and within the South Asian diaspora. Central to my teaching is transnational feminist film and media practices located in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America where I stress the significance of an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the cinemas of border, displacement, and migration. And finally, my teaching also takes on board a historical understanding of national and international feminist theories, a critical exploration of the interlocking system of global hierarchies of power and oppression, and an examination of resistance strategies put in place by contemporary feminist movements envisioning a just and equitable world.

Recent Courses Taught

BCUSP 131 Introduction to Film
BCUSP 117 Asian Cinema
BCUSP 188 South Asian Diaspora
BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies
BIS 293 Women in Transnational Film and Media
BIS 339 The Politics of Bollywood
BIS 466 Human Rights and Resistance in South Asian Cinemas

Research/Scholarship

My research interests center on the postcolonial cinemas of opposition, border, and of displacement, Anglophone literatures and film, postcolonial theory, European comparative literatures, diaspora studies, and creative writing. I have recently completed the manuscript of a novel.

I am one of the founding co-editors of the peer-reviewed journal South Asian Film and Media.

Selected Publications

Narratives of Gendered Dissent in South Asian Cinemas (2012), New York: Routledge (Taylor and Francis group)