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Aashish Kumar

Professor of Radio, Television, Film


Degrees

MS, 1994, Indiana St Univ Terre Haute; MFA, 1994, CUNY Brooklyn Coll; MA, 1990, Univ Delhi; BA, 1988, Univ Delhi


Bio

Professor Kumar has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in documentary, advocacy videos, immersive/interactive media, and television studies in the Radio/TV/Film Dept. He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and social action scholar whose work turns a spotlight on issues such as emerging democracies, social stigmas, globalization, migration, civic engagement, and grassroots advocacy. His films have been shown in domestic and international film festivals, used in grassroots community advocacy, and distributed to academic institutions. Most recently he was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to spend five weeks developing curriculum and creating a blueprint for an immersive media laboratory at the Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India’s premier graduate institution in film/television, animation, and journalism. This is Prof. Kumar’s third Fulbright Award – he has been a recipient of an earlier Fulbright Specialist award to Durban, South Africa (2016) and of a Fulbright Senior Scholar award to Hyderabad, India (2008).


One of Prof. Kumar’s favorite courses at Hofstra is Media Action Project, in which students partner with nonprofit organizations and learn how to use media to stimulate change in society. In 2014, based on successful partnerships built through that course, he was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation for a collaborative electronic media training project for Long Island nonprofits.


Prof. Kumar’s most recent documentary follows the life of “reverse migrants' – Indian high-technology workers whose jobs were moved to India from the United States. “Software from Hard Rocks,' released in summer 2014, explores how globalization transforms our sense of place and home. The film screened at festivals in Paris, Miami, and Toronto, and was distributed to various academic institutions.


Kumar has also been recognized for several films championing grassroots advocacy, including “The Community I Serve,' which called for the humane treatment of those with mental illnesses by law enforcement. It won “Best of Festival' and the “Award of Excellence' at the 2009 Festival of Media Arts by the Broadcast Education Association, and honorable mention at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. His 2002 documentary, “Raising Our Voices,' addressed hate-crime victims and has been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Dallas Asian-American Film Festival, and more than 200 academic institutions and community-based organizations. In 2003, “Raising Our Voices' was added to the Library of Congress’s permanent collection of media related to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.


Currently Prof. Kumar is working on an interactive web documentary on the LGBTQ experiences of South Asian American millennials and their families. The project is scheduled for a launch in summer 2020. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Hofstra University’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Center for “Race,” Culture, and Social Justice.


Teaching Interests

Production pedagogy, television aesthetics, community media, advocacy, documentary, interactive documentary, virtual reality

Research Interests

Participatory media; interactive documentary; immersive storytelling technologies

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
CSC 144K AR/VR STORYTELLING Undergraduate
RTVF 001 FOUNDATNS OF RTVF & NEW MEDIA Undergraduate
RTVF 016 TV AESTHETICS & CRITICISM Undergraduate
RTVF 020 INTRO INTERACTIVE NON-FICTION Undergraduate
RTVF 040 INTRO TO VR STORYTELLING Undergraduate
RTVF 084 TV PRODUCTION: EPISODIC FICT Undergraduate
RTVF 145 TV PROD: MEDIA ACTION PROJECTS Undergraduate
RTVF 150 INDEP STUDY/READINGS Undergraduate
RTVF 170 INTERNSHIP PROGRAM Undergraduate
Photo of Aashish Kumar

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