Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes

Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer, Centre of South Asian Studies; Visiting Lecturer, Division of Social Anthropology; member of  the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network.

I am a Research Fellow and Tutor at Clare Hall, a Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer at the Centre of South Asian Studies, and a member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network. Also, I give annual guest lectures at the Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. While my research centres on British imperial studies, my primary intellectual work is as a visual and digital humanities scholar. I consider the construction of racial, gender and political identities in visual records and their relevance to current historical studies. In collaboration with several higher education and research institutions in India and China, and with colleagues from the Faculties of Education and History at the University of Cambridge, I explore new research and pedagogical methodologies that use theories of visual culture in advancing modern history programmes. I teach ‘Visual rhetoric and modern South Asian history’ and I am the convenor of the annual seminar series ‘Visual Constructions of South Asia’ (http://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/50675) – both hosted by the Centre of South Asian Studies. More recently, I started teaching a course on ‘Visual and digital anthropology of new media’ for SAN11: Anthropology of Media and Visual Culture (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge) and two courses at the Sichuan University (Chengdu, China): ‘Visual rhetoric and historical studies’ and ‘Visual anthropology and representations of the Self’ (http://bit.ly/1iztKS4).

Through annual lectures and workshops I have secured several long-term research and educational partnerships with the Azim Premji Foundation and the Azim Premji University (Bangalore, India), the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (New Delhi), and Sichuan University (Chengdu, China). In both my research and teaching at Cambridge, I have made extensive use of and assisted with the establishment of online film archives of amateur (colonial) media such as ‘Images of Empire’ (Bristol), ‘Colonial Film’ (London) and the online archive held by the Centre of South Asian Studies (http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk/archive/films/).  In collaboration with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge I launched a conference program dedicated to visual studies and South Asian history; the first two events included ‘Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods’ conference (www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2066/), and ‘Visual Anthropology and contemporary South Asian History’ conference.  My scholarly work includes various publications and several outreach projects at universities and research institutes in the UK, Asia and Europe (http://bit.ly/1BHi73B and http://bit.ly/1EKZs92).   I am the founder of Amateur Cinema Studies Network(http://amateurcinemastudies.org), the first international project promoting amateur cinema/media studies.

Forthcoming books:

2016.  Visual Histories of South Asia, co-edited with Marcus Banks. Under contract with Primus (Ratna Sagar). 

2017. Amateur Media: Film, Digital Media and Participatory Cultures, co-authored with Susan Aasman. Under contract with Routledge. 

2017. British women amateur filmmakers: national memories and global identities, co-authored with Heather Norris Nicholson. Under contract with Edinburgh University Press.