The Sounds of Masala - Toronto Film & Media Seminar

When and Where

Friday, February 12, 2021 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Online Event


Please register here. A Zoom link will be distributed on the day.

Social time begins at 12pm. Talk begins at 12:30pm. 

The Afterlife of Nollywood Film Music: Towards a Persistent Identity System - Dr. Emaeyak Peter Sylvanus, Department of Music, University of Nigeria This presentation considers the most important arguments to date on film music in Nollywood (Nigerian cinema). It summarizes three central outcomes: (1) the Nollywood film music identity formations and their interconnectedness; (2) three contexts through which such identities are performed; and (3) the Nollywood film music persistent identity system (NoPIS), which is modelled following a systematic integration of the first two outcomes. This NoPIS reveals how Nollywood film music speaks to culture, its practitioners and consumers, and even scholars. The argument is that identity in this context is not merely a statement of causality but of cultural portrayal and specificity. | Dr. Sylvanus is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He holds a PhD in Music from City, University of London, UK. A leading scholar of Nollywood film music, his articles have appeared in Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Contemporary Music Review, and Popular Communication. He also has three chapters forthcoming on the subject of music and comedy films in Nigeria; women as composers in Nigerian cinema; as well as the Nigerian popular music industries and cultural memory with Palgrave Macmillan, Lexington Books, and Oxford University Press, respectively.  

The ‘Elsewhere’ of Song and Dance - Ganga Rudraiah, Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto This presentation explores the formal value of song and dance in masala films from Tamil Nadu (Kollywood), India, especially through their placing and movement within narrative space. The presentation extracts a new reading of Indian popular cinema’s staple ingredient, the song-and-dance sequence, from its significance for taking us into the world of thought. | Ganga Rudraiah is a PhD candidate in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation is an intervention into the field of Indian film studies. Her research work broadly covers visual cultures of South India (mainly Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam languages) and extends under the areas of masala erotica, cinedance, popular realism, experimental video, and reality television.  

Special Musical Guests: 

Charlotte Siegel is a soprano and singer/songwriter from Toronto. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Opera and Voice (McGill University), a M.Mus. in Opera and Voice (McGill U.), and B.Mus. in Classical Voice Performance (U. Toronto). Charlotte placed 3rd in the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Competition 2019 and was also a finalist in the Atelier Lyrique National Auditions 2019 (Opéra de Montréal). She has performed numerous roles with Opera McGill and Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, and in 2018 Charlotte attended the Chautauqua Institute Voice Program run by Marlena Malas. In July 2016 she completed the Bel Canto Opera Program in Munich, Germany, where she sang Mozart excerpts including Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She is currently part of Pacific Opera Victoria's Civic Engagement Quartet and looks forward to joining them this summer for their 41 days of Opera Program.  

Mathusha Kalamenan-Kugathasan taught herself to speak, read, and write her mother tongue, the Thamizh language. Singing since the age of three, she has in the past six years partaken in formal Indian Classical South Indian Carnatic Music, pursuing studies in Carnatic Vocal and Saraswati Veenai. She sings in seven languages -- Tamil, Hindi, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhala, and English -- and has taught at the Kalaviyam Voice Academy in efforts to bring out cinematic and performanced based talents hidden among our fellow communities. She writes, “I thank those who have and/or continue to venture with me throughout my musical journey sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I further look forward to a lifelong adventure ahead into achieving culture, arts, and music as a Tamil Woman.” Kalamenan-Kugathasan holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto. 

Panel convened by Cyrus Sundar Singh (Ryerson) and Katherine Spring (WLU) 

Steering Committee for 2020-2021 Co-chairs: Selmin Kara (OCAD) and Kate J. Russell (UofT) • Faculty members: Michael Baker (Sheridan); Kass Banning (UofT); Liz Clarke (Brock); Nathalie Coulter (York); Malini Guha (Carleton); Mark Lipton (Guelph); Scott MacKenzie (Queen’s); Janine Marchessault (York); Katherine Spring (WLU); Elizabeth Wijaya (UofT) • Grad student members: Lani Akande (York); Roxanne Hearn (WLU); Cyrus Sundar Singh (Ryerson); Aaron Tucker (York); Émilie von Garan (UofT) • Postdoctoral members: Jessica Whitehead (UofT) • TIFF: Keith Bennie.

The goals of the Seminar are:

• Encouraging intellectual and collegial discussion among the Cinema and Media Studies scholars in the region.

• Encouraging in-depth scholarly discussion and critical debate.

• Showcasing diverse research methodologies and research fields that address a wide range of cinematic technologies (film, television, video, new media, and other forms of moving image and sound screens).

• Aiming to model collegial and professional academic discourse for graduate students entering the field.