WSSU Will Host Lecture on "Love Bollywood Style"

September 28, 2012

Sheila J. Nayar, associate professor of English and communication studies at Greensboro College, will lecture on "Love Bollywood Style" on Thursday, October 11, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 228 of the Hall-Patterson Building on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will explore the three historical periods of Bollywood cinema in India and discuss how love is portrayed in them, with clips from songs to illustrate the different expressions of love in Indian films and India. Nayar is associate professor of English and communication studies at Greensboro College where she teaches courses in literary and cultural theory, film theory and analysis, and basic composition. She is also the assistant director of the George Center for Honors Studies.

Nayar will be a visiting scholar at WSSU October 11-12 as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded project on integrating India into the liberal arts curriculum.  In addition to her public lecture, Nayar will also conduct a workshop for WSSU faculty on "Disorientalizing Bollywood and Teaching Using Film."

Trained as a screenwriter, Nayar turned her attention to film analysis after an NEH fellowship on visual anthropology at UC-Berkeley. That experience led to an academic interest in the popular cinema of India, also known as Bollywood.  More recently she has focused on how visual narrative in film is actively shaped in societies, such as India, where much of the population is less familiar with print and formal literacy. This is the subject of her first book, Cinematically Speaking: The Orality-Literacy Paradigm for Visual Narrative, which won the 2011 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. She also is the author of The Sacred and the Cinema and has published widely in a variety of journals, including Film Quarterly, and Visual Anthropology, and on subjects as diverse as biblical spectaculars, “sound” in silent film, the Old French medieval fabliau, and Beowulf. Her next book project, forthcoming with Continuum, is on Dante's Divine Comedy.

Nayar has an M.F.A. degree in film from Columbia University and a B.A. with specialization in communication studies from Concordia University (Loyola College), Montreal.  She has held NEH summer institute fellowships to study India at the East-West Center/University of Hawaii at Manoa; visual anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley; and medieval literature at Yale University. Her prior experience in independent film screenwriting and script development includes credit as co-writer of an independent film and selection for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab.

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