Jessica Scarlata

Jessica Scarlata

Jessica Scarlata


Associate Professor

global and transnational cinema; incarceration and security; diaspora and migration; violence and human rights; colonialism; Indian, Irish, and Latin American film; race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality

Jessica Scarlata is Associate Professor of English and Film and Media Studies. She holds a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University and a BA in Art History from Tufts University. Her main focus in research and teaching is world cinema, particularly that of postcolonial nations. Her work addresses questions of incarceration, migration, diaspora, and an approach to globalization that emphasizes national security discourses and cultural/political/national exclusion. Her courses have covered Third Cinema and its legacy; representations of gender and sexuality; constructions of race, religion, and ethnicity; multiculturalism and migration; carceral spaces and instituions; and geographies of violence, all from a wide range of national/cultural contexts. She is the author of Rethinking Occupied Ireland: Gender and Incarceration in Contemporary Irish Film (Syracuse University Press, 2014), and essays on Loins of Punjab Presents...(Manish Acharya, 2007) and The Butcher Boy (Neil Jordan, 1996).

Current Research

Scarlata is currently writing a book manuscript that addresses questions of multiculturalism, migration, and diaspora as they relate to national security discourses and officially and unofficially declared states of emergency. The book examines the relationship between space and identity in twenty-first century film and visual culture from the US, UK, and Canada. It addresses how particular films place notions of belonging into dialogue with the national-security/state-of-emergency production of cultural "insiders" and threatening "outsiders." 

Selected Publications

Rethinking Occupied Ireland: Gender and Incarceration in Contemporary Irish Film. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014.

“Outside/In: Performance and Belonging in Loins of Punjab Presents . . .South Asian Popular Culture, 11(1) :1-14 (2013).

“Othello Nightmares: Time, Race, and Tragedy in Fred Wilson’s September Dream,” Art-in-Sight 28 (Fall 2005).

“Carnivals and Goldfish: History and Crisis in The Butcher Boy.”  Literature and Film: A Reader. Ed. Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2004, 233-251.


PhD in Cinema Studies, New York University, 2004

MA in Cinema Studies, New York University, 1998


Dissertations Supervised

Mika’il Petin, "I’m Not an American": Sovereign Masculinity and Images of Black Muslim Men during the War on Terror (2016)