Priya Jaikumar is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Studies. A historian and theorist of colonial and postcolonial cinemas, her writing has focused on questions of state power, comparative modernities and aesthetics, and transnational cultural formations. Her book Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India from Duke University Press (2006) details the intertwined industrial, regulatory and aesthetic histories of British and Indian cinema during the late colonial period. Her scholarly work has appeared in Cinema Journal, The Moving Image, Post Script, Screen, World Literature Today, and in recent anthologies like Hollywood Abroad and Transnational Feminism in Film and Media. Her current projects include a co-edited anthology on the state titled Undoing Leviathan, and research on the visual production of place in cinema about South Asia. She is writing on the emergence, management and persistence of territorial imaginaries that depend on the mimetic capacities of photography and cinema. This interest has taken her into a few related areas of visual study, such as: colonial tourist photography; circulation of images of insurgent cities; film and architecture; Euro-American filmmakers using Indian film locales; and location shooting more broadly.
In the Department of Critical Studies, Jaikumar conducts undergraduate and graduate survey courses on international sound cinema and seminars on film aesthetics (“Realism and Modernism”), film genre studies (on the historical film; on “Transnational Film Genres”), postcolonial theory, globalization, and Indian cinema. Jaikumar served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (2006-2009). Jaikumar previously worked as Assistant Professor of Film at the English Department in Syracuse University, where she was awarded the Department’s 2002 undergraduate teaching award. She received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the Department of Radio-TV-Film at Northwestern University, and her dissertation received SCMS’ first honorable mention. Prior to joining academia, Jaikumar was a television reporter and print journalist in New Delhi, India, publishing her writings with The Times of India, The Indian Express, and the journal A&M (Advertising and Marketing).