Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA Monday: Cinematic Activism: Palestine, Queer Politics, and the Case for Film Festivals in Times of Crisis — Umayyah Cable

When: Monday, February 6, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, #201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Co-Sponsor: Asian American Studies Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Through an analysis of the relationships between Palestine-, LGBT-, Queer-, and Zionist-themed film festival organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area, this talk outlines the ways in which film festivals have emerged as sites of cultural contest through which subjugated identity and cause-base groups resist the censorship of their political and cultural expressions and challenge hegemonic political ideologies. I argue that film festival organizing constitutes a method of political activism, or what I call “cinematic activism,” and that such a praxis reflects cinema’s critical role in cultivating transnational leftist solidarities in times of crisis and censorship.


Umayyah Cable earned a PhD in American Studies & Ethnicity and a certificate in Visual Studies from the University of Southern California in 2016 and is presently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American studies and Middle East & North African studies at Northwestern University. Their research and teaching interests span the fields of ethnic studies, film and media studies, and queer theory, with a particular focus on how marginalized or underrepresented identity-based and cause-based groups leverage film culture in order to foment social, cultural, or political change. They are currently conducting new research for a book manuscript based on their dissertation: Cinematic Activism: Film Festivals and the Exhibition of Palestinian Cultural Politics in the United States.


This event is co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program.

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