Dr. Fahmida Akhter
Dr. Fahmida Akhter Associate Professor, Department of Drama & Dramatics

PROFILE

SHORT BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Fahmida Akhter joined the Department in June 2006. She has contributed to a teaching and research profile that emphasizes the techniques and aesthetics of audio-visual productions both in live (such as theater) and recorded media. She holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Essex, UK; and is a recipient of Commonwealth Scholarship for the PhD program. The title of her PhD thesis is: "Fragmented Memory, Incomplete History: Women and Nation in War Films of Bangladesh". The PhD research explores the ways in which memories and histories of the Liberation War are shaped by the gender dynamics of nationalism through examining war-themed films of Bangladesh. Fahmida received her BA (Hons) and MA in Drama and Dramatics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. She also obtained a second Master's degree in Digital Design from Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea, having received the full ACE Scholarship that was funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Besides teaching, Fahmida works as a documentary film director. Most of her documentaries are produced by the Bengal Foundation, a leading art trust in Bangladesh, which also published 7 of her documentary films as DVDs. Here are a few titles of her directed and scripted documentaries: The Homecoming (2008), Garaner Gahine (2008), Nishorger Ankiye (Ode to Nature: Portrait of an Artist, 2004), Surer Swajan (2005). 

Fahmida had three years' experience of working as a program producer in the television industry of Bangladesh. The link of the youtube channel of Fahmida Akhter is: https://www.youtube.com/user/fahmidad74/videos --Here, some of her directed documentaries and TV shows are availbale. In media, she is also known as 'Fahmida Munni'. Recently, in the days of lockdown, Fahmida started hosting a regular online live talk show named: FILM TALK with Fahmida. It is with the participation of film-related personalities from and beyond Bangladesh. 

Dr. Akhter's articles concerning different aspects of Bangladeshi cinema and theater have been published in several national and international refereed journals. She is the author of Alamgir Kabirer Chalachchitra [The Films of Alamgir Kabir] (2019), written in Bangla, published by the Bangladesh Film Archive.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2808-8740

RESEARCH INTEREST

Cinema of Bangladesh, Film Studies, Women and War in Films, Digital Design, Documentary Film Productions, Traditional Theatrical Forms and Performances in Bangladesh, History and Aesthetics of Eastern Theater, Theater Archeology and Set Design, Comparative Film Studies, Comparative Studies of Eastern and Western Theater Practice. 

AWARD

2018.

Received fellowship for participating “Faculty Training Workshop on Writing and Publishing” at University of California, Berkeley, from April 23rd-28th, 2018, organized by the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, USA. 

2015.

Grant, awarded by the FfWG (Funds for Women Graduate), UK (received as a PhD candidate in Film Studies in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at University of Essex, UK).

2015.

Doctoral Bursary from the Charles Wallace Bangladesh Trust, UK (received as a PhD candidate in Film Studies, at University of Essex, UK).

2013.

Winner of the ‘Equality and Diversity’ photographic competition for the photograph Us in 2013, at University of Essex, UK. News link

2011.

Commonwealth Scholarship for doing PhD in Film Studies at University of Essex, UK; thesis title: "Fragmented Memory, Incomplete History: Women and Nation in War Films of Bangladesh". 

2010.

Research fellowship funded by the Bangladesh Film Archive. Project title: "আলমগীর কবিরের চলচ্চিত্র: বিষয়, আঙ্গিক ও নির্মাণ স্বাতন্ত্র্য [The Films of Alamgir Kabir: Contents, Structure and Film-making Process]"

2008-09.

ACE Scholarship for studying Master in Technology and Development (Major: Design) at Ewha Womans University, South Korea.

2004.

Winner of the "Best Documentary Film Director in Art and Culture" as "Fahmida Munni" for the film Nishorger Ankiey (Ode to Nature : Portrait of an Artist) at 5th Bangladesh Film Festival, London, organized by the Rainbow Film Society.


JOURNAL PAPER

Fahmida Akhter, Interpretive framework in Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom, 1995): (Re)vision of history and gender by a popular documentary film on the Liberation War of Bangladesh, South Asian Popular Culture, 17, 3, pp.227–246, 2019. doi: 10.1080/14746689.2019.1665870

   [Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group]  

Fahmida Akhter, Agami (The Time Ahead, 1984), the First “Short Film” of Bangladesh: Toward a New Cinematic Aesthetic of Imaging Time and Nation, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies Journal, 10, 1, pp.11–29, 2019. doi: 10.1177/0974927619855449

   [Published by SAGE].

Fahmida Akhter, The construction of the new Bengali woman in Nasiruddin Yousuff's Guerrilla (2011), South Asian Popular Culture, 13, 3, pp.199−216, 2015. doi: 10.1080/14746689.2016.1210296

   [Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group].  

Fahmida Akhter, Surjokonna’: Moddhobitter Abodomito Akangkha o Fantacir Monobishleshon) ['Shurjokonna' by Alamgir Kabir: Psychoanalysis of the Suppressed Desires and Fantasies of the Middle-Class], Bangladesh Film Archive Journal, 8, pp.88−99, June 2015.

   ISSN 2074-2134 (Written in Bangla/Bengali).  

Fahmida Akhter, Panning from the Past to the Present: The Climate, Context and Concept of Bangladeshi National Cinema, Shilpakala (Annual Journal), XXII, pp.49−67, 2014.

   Published by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts of     Bangladesh).

Fahmida Akhter, Framing Pain as Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Wartime Films of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Film Archive Journal, Issue 7, pp.38−50, 2014.

   (ISSN 2074-2134)

Fahmida Akhter, JIBON THEKEY NEYA (GLIMPSES OF LIFE, 1970): THE FIRST POLITICAL FILM IN PRE-LIBERATION BANGLADESH AND A CINEMATIC METAPHOR FOR NATIONALIST CONCERNS, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Humanities), Vol. 59, 2, pp.291−303, December, 2014.

   (ISSN 1015-6836)

Fahmida Akhter, ‘Dhirey Bohey Meghna’: Muktijuddher Pramanno o Fictioner Ek Additio Bhasha) [Alamgir Kabir's 'Dhirey Bohey Meghna' : A Unique Cinematic Language consisting of Documentary and Fiction], Bangladesh Film Archive Journal, Issue 5, pp.113−122., June 2012.

   (ISSN 2074-2134) (Written in Bangla/Bengali).

Fahmida Akhter, Shater Dashaker Ishtehar o Alamgir Kabirer Atmo-Abishkarer Chalachchitra ‘Rupalee Shaikatey’) ['Rupalee Shaikatey': A Mirror of the 1960s and a Self Portrayal Film by Alamgir Kabir], Bangladesh Film Archive Journal, Issue 4, pp.29−38., June 2011.

   (ISSN 2074-2134) (Written in Bangla/Bengali). 

Fahmida Akhter, Bharater Bikrishta Rangamancha o Greek Classical Theaterer Tulanachitra [A Comparative Study Between the Theatre Archeology of the East and West: The Bharat’s Bikrishta Moddhya Ranga Mancha and Greek Classical Theater], Theatre Studies Journal, Issue 17, pp.55−98, June 2010.

   (Written in Bangla/Bengali)

Fahmida Akhter, Nobbo-Nrigoshthi Natoke Fusion: Ekti Marma Rupkotha [Fusion in Neo-ethnic Theatre: Ekti Marma Rupkotha], Issue 14, pp.81-102, June 2006.

    (Written in Bangla/Bengali)


CONFERENCE PAPER

Fahmida Akhter, Framing Pain as Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Wartime Films of Bangladesh, CHHAYACHHABI Film Festival 2018, Department of Film and Media Studies, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Bangladesh, 29-31 October, 2018.

News link

Fahmida Akhter, Shilalipi and the De-aestheticization of “Woman”: the Making of a Bangladeshi Women’s Cinema, Rethinking Gender, Identity, and Popular Culture in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka: A Faculty Research Conference, SAS Conference Room, Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies,University of California, Berkeley, USA, 28 April, 2018.

News link to the University of California Berkeley’s Webpage 

Fahmida Akhter, Panning from the Past to the Present: The Climate, Context and Concept of Bangladeshi National Cinema, 5th International Congress of Bengal Studies, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, 25-28 January, 2018.
Fahmida Akhter, The Construction of the “New Bengali Woman” in Guerrilla (2011), AMSN3 (Australian Modernist Studies Network): Modernist Work Conference, University of New South Wales, Australia, 29-31 March, 2016.

Link to the Conference Programme

Fahmida Akhter, Revisiting Screen Memories and the History Making Process: Women in Mainstream War Films of Bangladesh, Challenging Gender, Embracing Intersectionality? A one- day CHASE Symposium, Open University, Camden, UK., 28th November, 2015.
Fahmida Akhter, Witness, Atrocity and the, Annual International Conference on Humanities and Arts in a Global World, Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece, 3-6 January, 2014.

Link to Abstract Book

Fahmida Akhter, Diffused and Distorted Images: Representation of Women in Bangladeshi War Themed Films, Women in War and at War Conference, Aberystwyth University, UK, 11 - 12 May, 2012.
Fahmida Akhter, Women in War: Memory Making and Memory Meaning in Bangladeshi War-based Films, Mapping the Journey: Excursions in postgraduate research in Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, the annual LiFTS PhD conference, University of Essex, UK, 2012.
Fahmida Akhter; Hyun-Jung Yu, Station ID, a graphics tools for determining station character, embedded from the culture: A comparative study between Korea and Bangladesh, 6th Annual Conference of ADADA (Asia Digital Art and Design International Conference) 2008., pp.42-45, Seoul, South Korea, 2008.

Abstract on Semantic Scholar 


BOOK CHAPTER

Fahmida Akhter, Zahir Raihan’s Stop Genocide (1971): A Dialectical Cinematic Message to the World, In: South Asian Filmscapes: Transregional Encounters. Edited by Elora Halim Chowdhury and Esha Niyogi De, University of Washington Press, pp.233-249, 2020.

ISBN: 9780295747842, View item online at JSTOR Books


BOOK

Fahmida Akhter, Alamgir Kabirer Chalachchitra [The Films of Alamgir Kabir], pp.174, 2019.

(Dhaka: Bangladesh Film Archive), ISBN 978-984-34-6862-8 (Written in Bangla/Bengali)


OTHER

Fahmida Akhter, Flashback: A Brief History of Cinema in Bangladesh before its Formation (1896-1970),

   Celluloid, 2014, Volume 35, (3&4): 28-37 (Magazine article). 

Fahmida Akhter (ফাহমিদা আক্তার), সূর্যকন্যা : মধ্যবিত্তের অবদমিত আকাঙ্ক্ষা, শিল্প ও শিল্পী, তৃতীয় বর্ষ, প্রথম সংখ্যা, 2013.

   (Magazine article written in Bangla). 

Fahmida Akhter (Direction and Script), Phera (Homecoming), a Bengal Foundation Production, 2008.

   (Documentary film on Bangladeshi-Spanish artist Monirul Islam).

Fahmida Akhter (Direction and Script), গড়নের গহীনে (Goroner Gohiney), A Bengal Foundation Production, 2008.

   (Documentary film on Bangladeshi artist/sculptor Abdur Razzaque).  

Fahmida Akhter (Direction and Script as 'Fahmida Munni'), সুরের স্বজন (Shurer Swajan), A Bengal Foundation Production, 2005.

   (Documentary film on singer Nilufar Yasmin). 

Fahmida Akhter (Direction and Script as Fahmida Munni), Nishorger Ankieya (Ode to Nature: Portrait of an Artist), A Bengal Foundation Production, (2004).

   (Documentary film on Bangladeshi painter Qayyum Chowdhury).

Fahmida Akhter (As Fahmida Munni), ‘Putuler Pran’ [The Life of Puppet], Kali O Kalam, First Year, 9th Issue, pp.120-123, October, 2004.

   (Magazine article, written in Bangla) 

Fahmida Akhter, Padatik Nattyadaler 'Bishad Shindhu' [The Theatre Production, ‘Bishad Shidhu' by the Group Theatre Troupe, Dhaka Padatik.], Shamoiki, Bhorer Kagoj, 8 January 1999 (Newspaper article, written in Bangla).

Teaching

Course Code Course Title Semester/Year
DAD 101 History of World Theatre (Ancient and Medieval) First Year [B.A. (Hons)]
DAD 308 Film Studies Third Year [B.A. (Hons)]
DAD 519 Design Studies M.A.
DAD 520 Graphic Design M.A.
DAD 556 Photography and Publication M.A.

Academic Info

Institute: University of Essex, UK
Period: October 2011- July 2017

PhD in Film Studies; Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Institute: Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.
Period: 2008-2009

Master in Technology and Development (Design),

Department: Interdisciplinary Program of Technology and Development. 

Institute: Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh
Period: 1997-1998 (Session 1994-95)

MA in Drama and Dramatics, First Class First position 

 

Institute: Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh
Period: 1992-1997 (Session 1991-92)

BA with Honours in Drama and Dramatics, 2:1st, (Secured First Place among all students)

Experience

Organization: Jahangirnagar University
Position: Associate Professor, Department of Drama and Dramatics
Period: November 2017− Present

 

     Taught courses in this position: 

   - History of World Theatre (Ancient and Medieval) [For First Year B.A. (Hons) 2018, 2019, 2020 (ongoing)]

   - Bangla Drama of Modern Age (Selective) [For Second Year B.A. (Hons) 2017]

   - Film Studies [For Third Year B.A. (Hons) 2017, 2018, 2019 (ongoing)]

   - Design Studies [For M.A. 2018 (ongoing)]

   - Graphic Design [For M.A. 2018 (ongoing)]

   - Photography and Publication [For M.A. 2016]

Organization: Jahangirngar University
Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Drama and Dramatics
Period: January 2010−November 2017

In this position, I supervised and taught the following BA and MA courses (modules):

- Advertisement and Theatre [For Fourth Year, B.A. (Hons)] 

- Radio and Television Production [For Fourth Year, B.A. (Hons)]

- Scene Design and properties - II [For Third Year, B.A. (Hons)]

- Scene Design and Properties-1 [For Second Year, B.A. (Hons)]

- Bangla Drama of Modern Age (Selective) [For Second Year, B.A. (Hons)]

- Stage and Lighting Design [For M.A]

Organization: Jahangirngar University
Position: Lecturer, Department of Drama and Dramatics
Period: June 2006 − January 2010

Supervised and taught BA and MA courses (modules) were:

*Lighting and Set Design [For Third Year, B.A. (Hons)]

*Dramatic Theories [For Third Year, B.A. (Hons)]

*Make-up and Mask Making [For Second Year, B.A. (Hons)]

*History of World Drama [For First Year, B.A. (Hons)]

*Lighting Design and sound [For M.A. Students]

*Preparation for Performance [For First year, B.A. (Hons)]

Organization: Channel One Entertainment Limited, Bangladesh, 
Position: Producer, Program Department
Period: November 2005−May 2006

As an in-house producer in the Program Department of the channel One, I was mainly responsible to conceptualize and produce different entertaining programs. These programs included both the regular and special days' programs for the Channel. 

Some selected programs’ directed and scripted by me are mentioned below including their available online links:

'Akar Ekar': a regular quiz and game show, based on Bangla language and culture, hosted by Adnan Faruque. 

‘Alpa Shalpa Galpa’: a documentary type series, focused on unexplored but success stories of different people. Find below the links of the various episodes of the show:

Episode on Cinema banners painters; Episode on Amitabh Reza; Episode on a traveller called Yves Marre and his boat collection; Episode on Gazir Pat and Patua; Episode on an autistic boy and his world of creation.

‘Notuner Utsobe’: A special day program on the celebration of Bengali New Year.

Organization: Bengal Foundation
Position: Senior Assistant Director
Period: September 2003−May 2005

I was fundamentally responsible for maintaining and setting up archives and documentation department for the organization. I conceptualized, directed and scripted several documentary films on visual art, painters, significant cultural events of Bangladesh.

Find bellow, the links and titles of a few documentary films, directed and scripted by me for the Bengal Foundation:

1. 'The Homecoming' (2008) a documentary on the life and work of painter Monirul Islam.

2. 'Nishorger Ankieya’ (2004) (Ode to Nature: Portrait of an Artist), a film on the life and work of painter Qayyum Chowdhury.

3. 'Shurer Shajan’, a documentary film on the life of eminent classical singer of Bangladesh, Nilufar Yasmeen. 

4. 'Goroner Gohiney', a documentary film on the life and work of late sculptor Abdur Razzaq. 

5. 'A French April in Dhaka’, a film on the works and the period of residency of three French artists in Dhaka in April 2004. 

6. 'Shudurer Pathik', a documentary film on the life and work of painter Rokeya Sultana. 

I also coordinated the project entitled, 'Development of Theatre in Bangladesh'. At the same time, I planned and managed events organized by the Bengal Foundation.

Organization: ETV (Ekushey Television Limited), Bangladesh
Position: Assistant Producer, Program Department
Period: June 1999−December 2002

I directed and scripted regular and special days' programs, promos and fillers. Some selective programs, directed and scripted by me at ETV are mentioned below:

1. ‘Kenkata’, a regular lifestyle program, focusded on fashion and shopping, hosted by Jaya Ahsan.

2. ‘Shabdo Jabdo’, a serial quiz and game show on Bangla language, hosted by Suborna Mustafa. 

3. ‘Priotomashu’, a regular program, centred on women's issues and success stories, hosted by Tania Ahmed.

4. ‘Chirontony’, a show based on Bangladeshi old film songs, with the participation of celebrity and audience couples.

Organization: Proshika Manobik Unnayan Kendra (Bangladesh)
Position: Senior Program Organizer
Period: July 1998−June 1999

Part of my main job responsibilities were to conduct and co-ordinate different training sessions and workshops for the field workers of Proshika. In addition to this, I directed numerous people’s theater in the Area Development Centers of Proshika across Bangladesh. I also monitored the People’s Cultural Programs run by the local groups in various Area Development Centers of Proshika. I assisted in the activities relating to networking between the different local cultural platforms and Proshika's own Peoples’ Cultural Programs accross Bangladesh. At the same time, I conducted feasibility studies for the upcoming programs.

Activity

Organization: Department of Drama and Dramatics, Jahangirnagar University
Position: Associate Professor
Period: Current

Currently taught courses in the Department of Drama and Dramatics are:

- Photography and Publication [For M.A]

- Design Studies [For M.A]

- Graphic Design [For M.A]

- Film Studies [For Third Year, B.A. (Hons)]

- History of World Theatre (Ancient & Medieval) [For First year, B.A. (Hons)]

Organization: Bangabandhu Institute of Comparative Literature and Culture, Jahangirnagar University
Position: Guest teacher
Period: Current

Taught course: "Literature and Film [For Second Year, B.A. (Hons)]". 

Contact

Dr. Fahmida Akhter

Associate Professor
Department of Drama & Dramatics
Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.
Email: fahmida.akhter@juniv.edu