Clark University to host award-winning film director Mira Nair, April 9

Posted by Melissa Lynch | Posted on Apr 04, 2013

Clark University will host a public conversation between top ranking female film director Mira Nair and Clark Sociology Professor Parminder Bhachu, at 7:30 p.m., on Tuesday, April 9, in Dana Commons, 950 Main St., Worcester.

Nair and Bhachu will discuss the lives lived through migration, movement, and diaspora, and how these dynamics are being rendered in new expressive and cultural forms and complex identities that are being forged in the 21st century.

Mira Nair

Mira Nair

Based in New York City and Kampala, Uganda, Nair has worked on her own independent short films, and won the Best Documentary prize at the American Film Festival for “India Cabaret” (1985), a controversial portrait of strippers in a Bombay nightclub. In 1988, her feature-length narrative film, “Salaam Bombay!”, won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and also earned the nomination for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Nair used the proceeds of the film to establish an organization for street children, called the Salaam Baalak Trust in India.  Her film “Monsoon Wedding” (2001) was awarded the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, making Nair the first female recipient of the award.

Nair has received various international film festival awards, and was a nominee at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards and Filmfare Awards.  In 2007, she was recognized as the India Abroad Person of the Year, and in 2012, she received the Padma Bhusan (India’s third highest civilian award) by the Government of India.

Nair’s most recent films include “Vanity Fair” (2004) with Reese Witherspoon, “The Namesake” (2006), and “Amelia” (2009).  Her new film, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” is based on    Mohsin Hamid‘s best-selling and controversial 2007 novel about a young Pakistani-born financial wizard who is hired by a Wall Street consulting firm and becomes disillusioned with America – and politically aware – after the way he is treated after 9/11.  “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” will be premiered later this month.

Bhachu is professor of sociology and a scholar of the diaspora as its global economic and cultural dynamics.  She is a thrice migrant being a product of East Africa, London, UK and the US.  Bhachu is a former Henry R. Luce Professor of Cultural Identities and Global Processes also served as the director of Clark’s Women’s Studies Program. She works on emergent cultural forms and identities in border zones, innovated by multiply-migrant global citizens. She is the author of “Twice Migrants: East African Sikh settlers in Britain” (Tavistock Publications 1985) and “Dangerous Designs:  Asian Women Fashion the Diaspora Economies” (Routledge 2004) and co-editor of “Enterprising Women: Ethnicity, Economy and Gender Relations” (Taylor & Francis 2004) and “Immigration and Entrepreneurship: culture, capital, and ethnic networks” (Transaction Publishers 2004).  Bhachu is currently working on her next book, “Global Innovators: Migrant Creativity in Hyper-Connected Diasporas.”

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.  The conversation is being sponsored by Clark’s Communication and Culture Program, the Office of the President, the Higgins School of Humanities, and the Sociology Department. For more information, call the Sociology Department at 508-793-7243 or the Communication & Culture Program at 508-793-7180.