Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai
Home > People > Faculty > Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai

Swarna.jpgAssociate Professor
Film Studies & Creative Writing

Office: C643 Wells Hall
Phone: (517) 884-4446
Email: eswaran@msu.edu
curriculum vitae

Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai is an associate professor in the English and Media and Information Departments at Michigan State University. He is a graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, the premier Film School in Asia, and the prestigious University of Iowa, at Iowa City. He is an accomplished filmmaker, and his recent documentaries include Unfinished Journey: A City in Transition (2012), Migrations of Islam (2014) and Hmong Memory at the Crossroads (2015). His research focuses on the history, theory and production of documentaries, and the specificity of Tamil cinema and its complex relationship with Hollywood as well as popular Hindi films. His recent books are Cinema: Sattagamum Saalaramum (Nizhal, 2013), an anthology of essays on documentaries and experimental films in Tamil and Madras Studios: Narrative, Genre, and Ideology in Tamil Cinema (Sage Publications, 2015).


"The Texture of Interiority: Voiceover and Visuals," Studies in Visual Arts and Communication, 2 (1), (2015), <http://journalonarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SVACij-Vol2_No1_2015-Pillai-Texture-Voiceover-and-Visuals.pdf>

"Enthiran, the Robot: Sujatha, Science Fiction, and Tamil Cinema." In Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells eds. Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema. Minnesota: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2015, pp. 119-136.

“Tamil B Movie Westerns: The Global South and Genre Subversion," In Mary Ellen Higgins, Rita Keresztesi, and Dayna Oscherwitz eds. The Western in the Global South. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge, 2015, pp. 165-179.

“Dubashi: Indian Film, Cross-Cultural Communication and Screenings for Children.” In Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler eds. Children’s Film in the Digital Age: Essays on Audience, Adaptation and Consumer Culture. Jefferson, N. Carolina:Mcfarland2015, pp. 148-159.


FLM451/ENG818: Postcolonial Cinemas: Indian Cinema
FLM260: Intro to Digital Cinema and Media
FLM334: Screenwriting
FLM336: Aesthetics of Editing
MI31: Intro to Documentary Production
MI491: Short Film: Writing and Directing