Here’s a little bit about Rania, one of the students in the first DAMES graduate program cohort!
Tell us about yourself!
I come from the Midwest, born, raised, and schooled, so the flora of North Carolina has had me enthralled since I stepped off the plane. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where I filled many waking hours playing, singing, and writing music, taking theatre classes, and being an old-time radio buff. Ask me about The Saint. On second thought, maybe don’t. (I can also sing 1940s cigarette jingles from memory, just saying, it’s a neat party trick you don’t see every day.) From Oberlin College and Conservatory, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, I have a Bachelor of Music in Composition and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies. I also did a math minor there, for which I got to take a très cool applied seminar in using math to make art. I’m passionate about the connective power of art and I hope to get involved soon in collaborative, community-minded art projects here in Chapel Hill! When I’m not doing that, you’ll find me buried nerd-deep in the study of popular Hindi cinema — which is the area of my thesis work.
What program track did you choose?
Interdisciplinary track – I’m interested in popular Indian cinema as a site of multicultural, national, and international discourse, as well as comparisons between Indian and Korean stardom.
What are you hoping to gain from your experiences here in DAMES and at UNC?
A regional studies-specific master’s program is a great opportunity to focus on language acquisition and immerse in the context of history, literature, etc. I don’t have coming from a background in film studies and music. I’m looking forward to being in a department that bridges the whole continent of Asia and the Middle East, with chances to make expected and unexpected connections across what peers are studying and passionate about.