There’s no place like home:

(Trans)nationalism, Diaspora, and Film

A Symposium with


Hamid Naficy



Friday, April 11, 2003

142 Dwinelle Hall

UC Berkeley Campus

1:30 pm   Opening Remarks


1:45 - 3:15 pm            Panel I

Gayatri Gopinath (Women and Gender Studies, UC Davis)

“Bollywood/Hollywood: Queer Representation and the Perils of Translation”

Sirida Srisombati (History of Consciousness Program, UC Santa Cruz)

“Two Tales of Globalization: Transnational Circuits of Thai Television”


3:30 - 4:45 pm            Panel II

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby (Dept. of History of Art, UC Berkeley)

“’She’s my sister’: Adoption and Longing in Josephine Baker’s Zou Zou (1934)”

Riché Richardson (Dept. of English, UC Davis)

“The Caribbean Problematic in Contemporary American Media”

5:00 pm                                                                       Hamid Naficy

(Dept. of Art and Art History/Film and Media Studies, Rice University)

“House, Home, and Homeland in Diasporic and Exilic Cinemas”


7:30 - 9:30 pm Diasporic Aporias: Films and Filmmakers

Anita Chang (in person), Mommy, What’s Wrong?; Hoang Nguyen (in person), Pirated!; Caveh Zahedi (in person), The World is a Classroom; Cauleen Smith, Chronicles of a Lying Spirit by Kelly Gabron; Tran T. Kim Trang, Aletheia; Walid Ra’ad, Hostage: The Bachar Tapes; Shashwati Talukdar, My Life as a Poster.


Prof. Naficy is the author of The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles (University of Minnesota Press, 1993) and An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton University Press, 2001). He has edited Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place (Routledge, 1999).

Organized by Monika Mehta and Tamao Nakahara, with programming assistance from Irina Leimbacher. Special thanks to the Dept. of Comparative Literature, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The Center for South Asia Studies, The Center for African Studies, The Film Studies Program, The Dept. of Anthropology, The Center for Race and Gender, and the Dept. of History of Art. For information, please see or call 510-527-6915.

Keynote Speaker:
Hamid Naficy

Hamid Naficy is Nina J. Cullinan Professor of Art and Art History/ Film and Media Studies and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, Rice University. He has published extensively about theories of exile and displacement, exilic and diasporic cinema and media, and Iranian and Third World cinemas. His English language books are: An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diaspora Filmmaking (Princeton University Press, 2001), Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place (Routledge, 1999), The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles (University of Minnesota Press, 1993), Otherness and the Media: The Ethnography of the Imagined and the Imaged (co-edited, Harwood Academic Publishing, 1993), and Iran Media Index (Greenwood Press, 1984). He has also published extensively in Persian, including a two volume book on the documentary cinema, Film-e Mostanad (Tehran: Entesharat-e Daneshgah-e Azad-e Iran, 1978-79). He is currently completing Cinema and National Identity: A Social History of Iranian Cinema (University of Texas Press). His publications have been anthologized, reprinted, and translated into many languages, including French, German, Italian, and Persian.



Gayatri Gopinath is Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at UC Davis. Her work on sexuality, diaspora and South Asian popular culture has appeared in various anthologies and journals including Diaspora, Positions, and GLQ. She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled Impossible Subjects: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures, forthcoming from Duke UP. Her publications include "Local Sites, Global Contexts: The Transnational Trajectories of Deepa Mehta's Fire," in Queer Globalizations: Citizenship, Sexualities, and the Afterlife of Colonialism, eds. Arnaldo Cruz Malave and Martin Manalansan (New York: NYU Press, 2002) and "Nostalgia, Desire, Diaspora: South Asian Sexualities in Motion," in "New Formations, New Questions: Asian American Studies," eds. Elaine Kim and Lisa Lowe, special issue of positions: East Asia cultures critique.


Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby received her degree from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before taking her post as Associate Professor at UC Berkeley. She has done work on Orientalist European Art since 1700 and her publications include "'Egypt! Egypt!': Delacroix's Post-Napoleonic Orient" in Beth Wright, ed., Companion to Delacroix, forthcoming; "Nudity a la Grecque in 1799," Art Bulletin; "Mamelukes in Paris: Fashionable Trophies of Failed Napoleonic Conquest", published Morrison Library Inaugural Lecture; "Rumor, Contagion and Colonization in Gro's Plague Stricken of Jaffa (1804)", Representations; "Dilemmas of Visibility: Contemporary Women Artists' Representations of Female Bodies," in Larry Goldstein, ed., The Female Body, Figures, Styles, Speculations, 1991.


Riché Richardson is Assistant Professor in the department of English at UC Davis. She specializes in African American literature with a focus on studies of the South in the United States. Other interests include critical theory, cultural studies, feminism and gender studies, and the relation of feminism and philosophy. She was a 2001-2002 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University. Her forthcoming and developing publications treat topics such as the status of the South in formations of race and masculinity in the African American context, Southern rap, psychoanalysis, race and masculinity in contemporary African American literature and film, and transnational and diasporan perspectives in contemporary Southern studies. She is completing a booklength study entitled Masculinity, Black Identity, and the American South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta.


Sirida Srisombati is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz and holds an M.A. in Critical Studies from USC’s School of Cinema-Television. Her dissertation analyzes the relationship between contemporary discourses of globalization, popular culture, and transnational subjectivities. Focusing on the circulation of cultural objects between Bangkok and Los Angeles, she traces the development of illicit economies and material networks to posit the emergence of distinct Thai-US transnational subjectivities in Southern California. She has presented on various aspects of this topic at Console-ing Passions (Bristol, UK 2001), the Society of Cinema Studies (Denver, CO 2002), and Race and Digital Space 2.0 (Los Angeles, CA 2002).



Monika Mehta is a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California at Berkeley, affiliated with Film Studies and Comparative Literature. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota. At Berkeley, she is working on her book project, "Selections: Cutting, Classifying, and Certifying in Bombay Cinema," which focuses on censorship of sex in Bombay cinema. She is also doing research on her next project which examines how globalization reconfigures the relations amongst the Indian State, Indian diasporic communities, and Bombay cinema.


Tamao Nakahara is a Ph. D. Candidate in the Department of Italian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in the Film Studies Program. She is completing a dissertation on exploitation in post-war Italian cinema. Her forthcoming publications include "Barred Nuns: Italian Nunsploitation Films" in Alterimage (Wallflower/Columbia University Press) and "Horrific Habits: Nunsploitation Horror" in Horror Zone (Verso), and she is director of the Born to Be Bad: Trash Cinema Conference and Film Festival.