Spring Events at NYU’s Center for Media, Culture and History & Center for Religion and Media

Public Events

Spring 2009

Center for Media, Culture and History & Center for Religion and Media


In Search of Bene Israel

Friday, February 6, 4-6PM

Kevorkian Center Screening Room

50 Washington Square South at 255 Sullivan Street

In Search of Bene Israel (2008, 36 min)

Directed by Sadia Shepard

Documentary filmmaker and writer Sadia Shepard grew up in the US with a Muslim mother, Christian father and Jewish grandmother. In 2001 she journeyed

to India to connect with her grandmother’s Indian Jewish community. This film-and her acclaimed 2008 book ,The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked

Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and A Sense of Home—offer an account of what she discovered.

Post screening discussion with the filmmaker.

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center


Friday, February 13, 3-7pm

The Kevorkian Center, 50 Washington Square South at Sullivan Street

Female Trouble: Women’s Representation in Iranian Cinema

Hamid Naficy, (Communications, Northwestern)

A leading scholar on exilic and diasporic cinema and media, Naficy examines the ideological work surrounding the filmic representation of women and their participation as filmmakers in this new era of Iranian cinema.

Followed by a screening of

Under the Skin of the City (2004, 92 minutes)

Directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad

Tuba, a mother of four, faces challenges to her way of life when her oldest son sells the family home for a foreign work visa. When his plans crumble, Tuba takes drastic measures to save her house and her son.

After-film discussion with Hamid Naficy

Co-sponsored with NYU’s  Hagop Kevorkian Center

Hosted by The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University.


Friday, February 27, 4-6:30PM

Kevorkian Center Screening Room

50 Washington Square South at 255 Sullivan Street

A Jihad for Love (2007, 81 min)

Directed by Parvez Sharma

Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma filmed in twelve countries and nine languages, often in nations where government permission to make this film was not an option.

Post screening discussion with the filmmaker.

Co-sponsored by Law and Society Program of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences CSGS, SCA, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Kevorkian Center


Friday, March 6, 2-5:30PM

Cinema Studies Screening Room

721 Broadway, 6th floor

Devoted to discipline: religion, education and punishment in prison

The Dhamma Brothers: East Meets West in the Deep South

Directed by Jenny Phillips, Anne Marie Stein, Andrew Kukura (2008, 76 min)

A 10-day meditation retreat held in an Alabama men’s maximum-security prison makes a decisive difference in several lives.

A post-screening discussion with filmmaker Jenny Phillips, will be followed by a roundtable exploring the paradoxes of discipline as religion, college education and punishment in American prisons. Do religious practices and education programs simply serve the punitive regime of the prison, rendering inmates manageable? Or are they the lifeline for moral integrity and dignity of the individuals who live inside?

With Tanya Erzen (OSU), an anthropologist researching the role of faith-based initiatives in southern prisons, and Daniel Karpowitz (Bard), a lawyer and academic director of the Bard Prison Initiative in New York state. Moderator: Angela Zito, (NYU)

Cosponsored by SCA, CSGS, and Religious Studies.


Thursday, March 26, 7PM

721 Broadway, 6th floor

Cinema Studies, Room 646

US Premiere:

Half Moon Files (2007, 87 minutes)

Directed by Philip Scheffner

In this experimental search “The Halfmoon Files,” Philip Scheffner traces prisoners at the Halfmoon prisoner of war camp in Germany during World War I to the origin of their recording.

Post screening discussion with the filmmaker.

Co-sponsor Cinema Studies


March 26-29

National Museum of the American Indian,

U.S. Custom House/One Bowling Green

4th Native American Film + Video Festival

Celebrating 30 years of screening outstanding Native film and media.

For more information: http://www.nmai.si.edu/


Thursday, April 2/6-8PM

Hemmerdinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East

Three Modalities of Ethics

Webb Keane (Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan)

Co-sponsored by Anthropology


Thursday, April 9th, 6:30-10PM

Cantor Film Center, Theater 101

36 East 8th Street

Take Out (2008, 87 min.)

Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou

This film presents an unvarnished view of a day in the harsh life of Ming Ding, an illegal Chinese immigrant and deliveryman for a NYC Chinese take-out shop.

Post screening discussion with the filmmakers.

RSVP at apa.rsvp@nyu.edu or 212.992.9653 or visit www.apa.nyu.edu.

Co-sponsors: The Center for Media, Culture & History, The Museum of Chinese in America.


Thursday, April 23, 6-8PM

Casa Italiana, 24 West 12th Street

Jews, God, and Videotape:  Religion and Media in America

Jeffrey Shandler (Rutgers University)

From cantors’ early sound recordings to contemporary Hasidic outreach on the Internet, American Jews have become much more than the “people of the book” during the past century. Drawing on his lively new book, Jews, God, and Videotape (NYU Press), Shandler argues that such engagements with media of all kinds have become central to defining contemporary religiosity not only for Jews but more broadly.

Co-sponsored by the department of Anthropology


Friday, May 1, 4-6PM

Space TBD

Sync or Swim (2008, 90 min.)

Directed by Cheryl Furjanic

An in-depth look at a marginal sport: U.S.A.’s top synchronized swimmers endure rigorous training and overcome unthinkable obstacles to compete for Olympic glory.

Post screening discussion with the filmmaker.

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