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Announcement
November 29, 2021

Faculty appointments for 2021/22 academic year

Columbia University School of the Arts

Top row: (left to right) Adama Delphine Fawundu, Naeem Mohaiemen, Racquel Gates, Mynette Louie; Bottom row: (left to right) Scott Whitehurst, Jace Clayton, Diksha Basu, Shrihari Sathe.

Columbia University School of the Arts is delighted to announce these new faculty appointments for the 2021/22 academic year.

New full-time faculty:
Adama Delphine Fawundu, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Visual Arts
Adama Delphine Dawundu is a photographer and visual artist. Fawundu co-founded the collective MFON, and independently published the book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Award and was included in the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines in 2018. Fawundu’s works are in the collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Princeton University Museum, and the Norton Museum of Art, amongst other museums and collections. She holds an MFA from Columbia University.

Naeem Mohaiemen, Associate Professor and Concentration Head of Photography, Visual Arts
Naeem Mohaiemen is author of photography-archive based Prisoners of Shothik Itihash, 2014, and co-editor of Solidarity Must be Defended, forthcoming. His work is in the collections of British Museum, Tate Modern, MoMA, Art Institute, MACBA, and Sharjah Foundation, among others. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, and was a finalist for Britain’s Turner Prize. Mohaiemen has a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University, and was a Senior Research Fellow at Lunder Institute of American Art, Colby College and a Mellon Teaching Fellow at Heyman Center, Society of Fellows, Columbia University.

Racquel Gates, Associate Professor, Film
Racquel Gates is the author of the book Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke, 2018) and Hollywood Style and the Invention of Blackness (Duke, forthcoming). Her work has appeared in Film Quarterly, Television & New Media, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, amongst other journals and collections. In 2020, she was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Gates holds a PhD from Northwestern University’s department of Screen Cultures, an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Mynette Louie, Assistant Professor, Film, joining in the spring, 2022
Mynette Louie is an Emmy-nominated, Spirit Award-winning producer whose credits include Heidi Ewing’s I Carry You With Me (Sony Pictures Classics), Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow (IFC Films), Jennifer Fox’s The Tale (HBO), Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation (Drafthouse/Netflix), Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz's Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics), Tze Chun's Children of Invention, and Andrew Bujalski's Mutual Appreciation. Louie won the 2013 Independent Spirit Producers Award. She is on Film Independent’s Board of Directors, and serves on the executive and diversity committees in the Producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was named one of Business Insider’s “12 Movie Producers at the Top of Their Game to Watch in 2020 and Beyond” and Indiewire's “100 Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter.” A native New Yorker, Louie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University, where she studied Chinese literature and film.

New full-time term appointments:
Scott Whitehurst, Assistant Professor, Theatre for 2021/22
Scott Whitehurst taught in the graduate theatre program in the College of Performing Arts at The New School from 2015–2020, where he served as Co-Head of the Acting program from 2017-2020. His prior teaching includes: Essex County College, Ramapo College, NY Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and Circle in the Square Theatre School. As a private coach, he operates The WhiteRobin Group with his wife, actor-singer Angela Robinson (“The Haves and Have Nots”). Whitehurst is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (MFA), where he studied with William Esper and Maggie Flanigan, and Columbia College, Columbia University, where he received a BA in English Literature and Philosophy. He is a member of the AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.

Jace Clayton, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts and Interim Director of the Sound Art Program for the spring 2022 semester
Jace Clayton is an artist and writer based in New York, also known for his work as DJ /rupture. He is the author of Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Digital Culture (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and was awarded a 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant to support Behold the Monkey, his upcoming book on contemporary art, faith, and social media. Clayton served as the 2018-2019 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is currently co-teaching the Graduate Critical Practice Seminar at Yale School of Art, and has taught on the Music/Sound faculty of Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts since 2013. Clayton has performed in over three dozen countries, both solo and as director of large ensemble performances. Since 2018, his work has been exhibited internationally. Clayton graduated from Harvard University with a BA in English.

Diksha Basu, Assistant Professor, Writing for spring 2022
Originally from New Delhi, India, Diksha Basu is the internationally best-selling author of The Windfall (a People Magazine pick, The New York Times Editors' Pick, Time Magazine pick, Target Diverse Book Club pick, and more) and Destination Wedding (shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), both of which are currently in development for the screen. She was a columnist at Mint Lounge and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue, the BBC, New York Magazine, and several other publications. She holds a Bachelor's in Economics and French Literature from Cornell University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

New positions:
Shrihari Sathe, Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Production Advisor, Film (part-time)
Shrihari Sathe is a New York-based director and Independent Spirit Award-winning producer. His credits as producer/co-producer include Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam's The Sweet Requiem, Afia Nathaniel’s Dukhtar, Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love and Beach Rats, Partho Sen-gupta’s Sunrise (Arunoday), Bassam Jarbawi's Screwdriver (Mafak), Paul Felten & Joe Denardo's Slow Machine, amongst others. Sathe’s feature directorial debut 1000 Rupee Note has received over 30 awards globally. His latest production, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's No Land's Man world premiered at the 2021 Busan International Film Festival. He is currently in post-production on Francisca Alegria's The Cow That Sang a Song About The Future and Jamie Sisley's Stay Awake. Sathe has received fellowships from the HFPA, PGA, Trans Atlantic Partners, IFP, Film Independent and The Sundance Institute, to name a few. In 2016, He received the Cinereach Producer Award. Sathe is a member of the PGA, IMPPA, SWA-India and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He majored in Film and Video Studies and Global Media and Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and he holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

About Columbia University School of the Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art. The School of the Arts is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary and committed artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics, and scholars. More information about the School, its programs, and events can be found online.

Columbia University School of the Arts recognizes Manhattan as part of the ancestral and traditional homeland of the Lenni-Lenape and Wappinger people. By acknowledging legacies of displacement, migration, and settlement, we are taking a small first step toward the long and overdue process of healing and repair. The School of the Arts continues to confront and address issues of exclusion, erasure, and systemic discrimination through ongoing education and a commitment to equitable representation.

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