SHEILA J. NAYAR portrait
  • Adjunct Professor, Film & Media Arts Department


  • B.A., Communication Studies, Concordia University, Loyola College (Montreal, Canada)
  • M.F.A., Film , Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Ph.D., English & Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)


Sheila J. Nayar’s research interests include the interplay of narrative, technology, and phenomenology, especially in the context of orality and alphabetic literacy. Her publications in that regard include the monographs Cinematically Speaking: The Orality-Literacy Paradigm for Visual Narrative; The Sacred and the Cinema: Reconfiguring the “Genuinely” Religious Film; Renaissance Responses to Technological Change; and, most recently, Before Literature. Her articles appear in Film Quarterly, PMLA, and the Journal of the Academy of Religion, among others. You can see one of her latest publications -- on the graphic novel and HBO series Watchmen -- here

Currently, she is working on a book-length project on secularism and Hindi popular cinema.

She will be on hiatus from teaching at the U during the 2023 and 2024 spring semesters, during whiich time she will be in India pursuing research as a senior Fulbright fellow.