UBC Theatre and Film is excited to announce that Shannon Walsh has been hired as an Assistant Professor teaching in BFA Film Production as well as electives available to all students on campus.
Dr. Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary theorist. Her most recent feature documentary, Jeppe on a Friday (2013), has been screened at the 56th Venice Biennale, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and film festivals around the world. Her award-winning first film, H2Oil, was recognized as one of the top ten independent documentaries of 2009. She followed with St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011) co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Her films have played in over 50 film festivals and museums, on television and in cinemas;, and have been supported by Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), Canada Council for the Arts, among others.
As a theorist, Walsh publishes extensively in areas such as cities, social movements, pedagogy, sexuality, critical race theory, ethnography and visual and participatory methodologies, largely focused on South Africa. She has won numerous fellowships and awards; and her research has been supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Fonds Quebecois de la recherche sur la societe et la culture (FQRSC), the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), amongst many others. Walsh was a faculty member at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, from 2013-2016, and continues to be a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg’s Research Chair in Social Change, where she did her post-doc. She received a PhD in anthropology and education from McGill University in 2010.
Walsh is working on new documentary and a fiction feature. Her first book, The Ties that Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa, edited with Jon Soske, will be released in fall 2016.
Her thoughts about joining us at UBC:
I am thrilled to be joining the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. I feel very honoured to be able to work with the faculty and students here in making the film production program reach new heights. With such a long history and so many incredible faculty and alumni, it is an inspiring, if daunting, challenge.
In my approach to filmmaking, I have been passionate about building community: both on the screen and off. I believe filmmaking can bring us deeper into the world around us, through telling vital and meaningful stories. I hope to bring this community-based approach to both the Department and the broader UBC campus.
I am particularly excited about bringing my interdisciplinary and hands-on approach to teaching and making films to UBC. A filmmaker is also often also a researcher, and a person curious and excited about the world around them. I want to push this curiosity further and make links with other spaces of knowledge production in the city and on campus. Having spent the last three years in Hong Kong at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong, and before that at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, I bring an international perspective to thinking about filmmaking and issues of representation. In an interconnected world, understanding the art of storytelling is also about asking who tells the story, and why?
I am honoured and excited to be able to pursue these questions in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC.
Areas of expertise/research: South Africa, South African Social Movements, Cities, Popular Education; Indigenous/Post-colonial studies; Community/Activist Knowledge Production; Affect & Friendship; Critical race/ feminism; Youth Activism; Longitudinal studies; Ethnography & Visual Methodologies; Tar Sands/Oil Sands; Environmental movements