Pooja joined the Amherst faculty in 2015, following a visiting appointment as a Copeland Fellow at Amherst during the 2013–2014 academic year and three years as an assistant professor at the New School’s Eugene Lang College. Her scholarship encompasses the areas of documentary theory and practice, voice and auditory culture studies, critical disability studies, media and abolition, and humanitarianism and human rights. Pooja is the author of Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary (Duke University Press, 2017; numerous peer-reviewed journal articles; chapters in edited anthologies; and short essays and book reviews and has co-edited three volumes, including the anthology Thinking with an Accent: Toward a New Object, Method, and Practice, which is out this month from University of California Press. She is currently completing two books. The first is a monograph titled “The Documentary Audit,” for which she received a Burkhardt Fellowship; this support enabled Pooja to work on the project during a residency that she held as a visiting scholar at New York University’s Center for Media, Culture, and History and the university’s Center for Disability Studies, during the last academic year. The second is a collaboration with award-winning documentary filmmaker Brett Story that explores the role of documentary in the history and contemporary practice of prison abolition. Pooja also brings to the FEIO role a background in documentary arts leadership. As president of the board of The Flaherty, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that independent media can illuminate the human spirit, she helped organize the renowned non-fiction cinema gathering, The Flaherty Seminar. She serves on the editorial boards of World Records Journal and the Investigating Visible Evidence book series at Columbia University Press.
Pooja earned a B.A. in cinema studies from Oberlin College; a certificate in 16mm film production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in modern culture and media from Brown University.