A Conversation with Pavitra Sundar, Film and Media Scholar

Leah Shafer in conversation with Pavitra Sundar, probing sound studies, postcolonial cinemas, and gender sexuality studies. This event is a collaboration between FLEFF, Conversations Across Screen Cultures, and F2F: Feminist to Feminist



Pavitra Sundar is associate professor of literature at Hamilton College. Her scholarly interests span cinema studies, sound studies, postcolonial literary and cultural studies, and gender-sexuality studies. Her scholarship appears in MeridiansJump CutCommunication, Culture, and Critique; and the Sounding Out!  blog, as well as other journals and anthologies.

Deeply committed to collaborative research and teaching, Pavitra co-organized faculty-staff seminar on sound studies with Celeste Day Moore (History), and a film festival and symposium on Indian cinema at the George Eastman Museum with Anaar Desai-Stephens (Eastman School of Music).

Sundar's co-edited work includes a special issue of South Asian Popular Culture on “Masculinities” with Praseeda Gopinath (Binghamton University) and an upcoming special issue of Feminist Media Histories, co-edited with Debashree Mukherhee (Columbia), on "Decolonial Feminisms." 

She is a founding member of the Accent Research Collaborative, and is co-editing a collection of essays Thinking with an Accent: Through Voice, Across Media (University of California Press, Forthcoming) with Pooja Rangan, Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, and Akshya Saxena. Also on the horizon is her monograph Listening with a Feminist East: Soundwork in Bombay Cinema (University of Michigan Press, Forthcoming).

Sundar is an Ithaca College alum, with a degree in Psychology and English. She earned her joint Ph.D. in Women's Studies and English from the University of Michigan. 

Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is associate professor in the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her scholarly interests include:  digital media, cinema studies, television studies, gender-sexuality studies, material culture, and global digital humanities.

Her scholarship appears in Film Criticism, Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture, Teaching Media Quarterly, Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, Cinema Journal, and In Media Res. She has published chapters in several anthologies including The 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: From I Love Lucy to Modern Family, Writing About Media, Feminist Interventions in Digital Pedagogy, and the forthcoming Routledge Medical Media Handbook. She is currently co-editing a book called Fifty Years of Women Media Makers: from New Hollywood to YouTube.

Shafer is also a filmmaker and video essayist: her experimental documentary DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS WESLEYAN CHAPEL was screened in the 2015 FLEFF Habitats as Iterations exhibition.

Conversations Across Screen Cultures

Conversations Across Screen Cultures (CASC) is one of the cosponsors of this FLEFF conversation.  Since Fall 2020, a group of faculty from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Ithaca College have mounted monthly conversations with screen cultures scholars in the Central New York region, a robust and vital area for both media production and scholarship. These highly interactive and engaging sessions feature a conversation with a scholar about their work, questions from the audience, and a lively after-event gathering to continue informal engagement.  The programming team includes Leah Shafer (HWS), Camilo Malagon (IC), Enrique Gonzalez Conty (IC), Harry Gu (HWS), and Patricia Zimmermann (IC)

F2F: Feminist to Feminist

F2F: Feminist to Feminist is an initiative of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major. It features vibrant interviews with feminist scholars at Ithaca College, with interviewers representing senior faculty at the College and also nationally. 

The Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies major  is a flexible, interdisciplinary program that provides opportunities for feminist study, research, close collaborations with faculty, internships, and community involvement. Our classes interrogate power and privilege, and explore how gendered inequalities are perpetuated, maintained and subverted.  Students investigate how gender and sexuality are constructed and interact with other social categories, such as race, class and nationality.

We support intellectual projects and activities that foster community on our campus, and that contribute to the production of knowledge about women, gender and sexuality from an intersectional perspective.