Hi, I am @sunnysingh_nw3, author, researcher, and lecturer in Creative Writing, English Literature,
and Film Studies. I will be curating the @wethehumanities twitter account from Monday, 24th of
August to Sunday, 30th of August, 2015.
My primary hat is that of a novelist, with my new novel, Hotel Arcadia just published this past spring.
I also write short stories and have tried my hand at theatre as well as film scripts. Long form fiction,
however, continues to be my first love.
My academic work is primarily on cinema, with my phd focussing on evolving a culturally sensitive
and relevant theoretical framework for commercial Indian cinema (often albeit inaccurately
described as ‘Bollywood’). The idea of overturning the imperial academic tradition of ‘East as
Object, West as Theory’ guides much of my research publication, considering cultural products from
non-Western theoretical frameworks. I have also just submitted the manuscript for a book on the
Indian superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, for BFI/Palgrave series on global film stars.
The various areas of my research and writing are linked by my abiding interest in structural iniquity. I
am very involved online and can be found at:
My website: www.sunnysingh.net
My discussions during the week will draw on my research and writing as well as my personal
experience as a non-white female academic with experience of working in multiple countries. As
such, diversity, equality and intersectionality will inform and guide my questions and thoughts. Some
ideas I would like to discuss:
Experience on ‘non-traditional’ faculty in academia, including but not limited to interactions with
colleagues, management, and students. This is drawn a great deal from my own experience as one of
the few non-white faculty members in my area where a sense of isolation, insecurity, and the stress
engendered from both can often be acute. How can both non-traditional faculty members as well as
allies address these?
Diversity in the classroom and in the curriculum. This is again drawn from my experience of teaching
in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world, as well as in an institution that primarily
attracts ‘non-traditional’ students (not only on gender and race, but also on class, sexuality, ability,
age, and other matrices). I often hear students feeling let down by curricula as well as their
experience in class. Are there strategies that we can share to go beyond including ‘diversity’ on our
curricula and syllabi and begin to practice it daily and consistently in classroom discussions,
seminars, and lectures?
Diverse fictions: This is a topic that leads from the last one but is also linked to the challenges I face
as an author. The lack of diversity in publishing is well established but we also need to discuss the
ways we - as academics – contribute to this by our choices of including or excluding writers/writing
from our courses and research. How can we expand our own research, publishing, and teaching to
expand the diversity of texts, ideas and thoughts?
Based on my online and IRL discussions, I realise that some of this may make for uncomfortable talk
but I do hope we can have a positive and fruitful exchange. Looking forward to the week ahead…