Dr Clelia Clini

Research Associate in the Institute for Media and Creative Industries

Clelia Clini

Dr Clelia Clini is a Research Associate on the project “Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination (MMPI): British Asian Memory, Identity and Community after Partition”.

Dr Clelia Clini is a research associate on the project “Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination (MMPI): British Asian Memory, Identity and Community after Partition”. She has extensive experience of teaching and doing research in the field of Media, Cultural and Postcolonial Studies. Her research interests include: Indian popular cinema and the Indian diaspora; narratives of identity and belonging in South Asian diasporic literature and films; immigrants’ experiences in Italy in relation to cinema, media and music; representation of minorities and terrorism narratives in Indian popular cinema; forced displacement, creativity and wellbeing.

Academic background

Clelia received her doctoral degree at the Università Orientale of Naples (2011) where she conducted a research investigating the relationship between migration, cultural identity and Indian popular cinema, as her study explored processes of integration and sense of belonging in relation to practices of films and media consumption. Her ethnography was sponsored by the Angelo Frammartino Foundation, which awarded her a fellowship in partnership with the University of Rome La Sapienza (2009-2010).  
She has a Master’s Degree and BA in Intercultural Studies (2005, Università degli Studi di Trieste) and a Master’s Degree in Migration Studies (2007, Università di Venezia Cà Foscari). Her Master’s dissertation (Intercultural Studies) on Indian popular cinema was awarded the International Filippo Sacchi Award for the best MA thesis in Film Studies -awarded by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists at the 65th Venice Film Festival. 
Prior to her current position, she was a ESRC GCRF Postdoctoral Research Associate at University College London (2017), where she worked on the project “Forced Displacement and Cultural Interventions”, which investigated the role of cultural and creative activities in the improvement of the well-being of forcibly displaced people, as well as their role in enhancing people’s ability to integrate in the societies of settlement. Before that, she held the position of lecturer in Media and Communications at John Cabot University, Rome (2012 – 2016) where she taught the following courses: Media, Culture and Society; Global Media; Postcolonial Literature and Cinema, Cultural Resistance; European Mass Media. She was also an adjunct lecturer at The American University of Rome (2013 – 2016), where she taught courses such as Media and Gender, Intercultural Communication and European Mass Media. In between 2013 – 2016 she was a visiting lecturer at the Master Programme IGAMI (Italian Global Approach to Management in India) at the University of Venice Cà Foscari -Challenge School, where she taught a course in Indian popular cinema.

Current research and collaborations

Clelia is currently working as a Research Associate on the Leverhulme Trust – funded project “Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination (MMPI): British Asian Memory, Identity and Community after Partition”, which explores how community identities, including a sense of Britishness, are produced and articulated by South Asian people in the UK through cultural and social practices and processes of remembering the 1947 Partition of British India.

She keeps doing research on Indian popular cinema and is currently working on an article investigating the representation of Indian poverty in films (for the German Association of Postcolonial Studies, GAPS). She is also involved in the curation of the next issue of the journal Genre Sexualité et Societé, entitled Espaces visuels. Production, diffusion et circulation des images du genre et de la sexualité, in collaboration with Michela Villani, Sarah Kiani, Nermina Trbonja and Emilie Ding.

She has recently published two book chapters: “Home is a place you’ve never been to. A woman’s place in the Indian diasporic novel”, in Rossella Ciocca and Neelam Srivastava, Indian Literature and the World: Multi-lingualism, Translation, and the Public Sphere (Palgrave Macmillan 2017) and “Voyages à Bollywood: (trans)nationalisme et identité à l’ère de la globalization”, in Patricia-Laure Thivat, Voyages et exils au cinéma, transferts et/ou ‘chocs’ culturels (Presses Universitaire du Septentrion, 2017).

Her forthcoming publications include an interview with Avtar Brah entitled “Contemporary Feminist Discourses and Practices Within and Across Boundaries: an Interview with Avtar Brah” for the Feminist Review (2018) and the following book chapters:

  • “Exploring the psychosocial impact of cultural interventions with displaced people”, co-authored with Helen J Chatterjee, Beverly Butler, Fatima Al-Nammari and Cornelius Katona for the collection Refuge in a Moving World, edited by Elena Fiddiam-Qasmiyeh, (UCL Press 2018)
  • “Diasporic Dreams and Shattered Desires: Displacement, Identity and Tradition in Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth”, in Journeys On Screen: Theory, ethics and aesthetics, edited by Louis Bayman and Natalia Pinazza (Edinburgh University Press 2018)
  • “From Bollywood to ‘Hindipendent’ Films: Narrating the Indian Diaspora”, in Beyond Borders and Boundaries: Diasporic Images and Re-presentations in Literature and Cinema, edited by Nilufer E. Bharucha, Sridhar Rajeswaran and Klaus Stierstorfer (CoHaB IDC: University of Mumbai and CASII: Bhuj-Kachchh 2018)
  • ""Diaspora, Media and Transnational Identities: Between Theory and Practice"" in The Past, Present and 'Post' Diaspora: New Directions in Diaspora Studies, edited by Nilufer E. Bharucha, Sridhar Rajeswaran and Klaus Stierstorfer (CoHaB IDC: University of Mumbai and CASII: Bhuj-Kachchh 2018)

Current PhD / research supervisions

Clelia is co-supervisor of PhD researcher Julia Giese, whose research project, entitled “Embodied Partitions: Exploring women’s embodied memories of the 1947 Partition of India through dance” is part of the Leverlhume Trust-funded project "Migrant memory and the Postcolonial Imagination".

Interests and activities

Clelia is a member of the POPADIVCIT group (Popular Art, Diversity and Cultural Politics in Post-Migration Urban Settings) within the IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social COhesion) network and a member of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).
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