Nadi Tofighian är forskare och lektor vid Enheten för filmvetenskap vid Institutionen för mediestudier. Han har tidigare undervisat på Linnéuniversitetet, Örebro Universitet och De La Salle University Manila. År 2015-2016 genomförde han ett postdok-projekt vid Film and Media Studies Program på Yale University. Han jobbar just nu med bokprojektet 'Let the American Show You: Early Cinema in U.S. Colonial Territories, 1898-1919.
Han slutförde sin avhandling, Blurring the Colonial Binaries: Turn-of-the-Century Transnational Entertainment in Southeast Asia, vid institutionen år 2013. På institutionen har han varit kursansvarig för följande kurser: Kulturstudier och rörliga bilder, Postcolonial Perspectives on Audiovisual Media, Introduktion till filmvetenskapliga studier och Filmhistorisk översiktskurs 3. Han har dessutom skapat kurserna Visuella dokument: Arkiv, Minne, Historia samt Etnografisk film och självrepresentation. Han har även varit med och utvecklat en filmteoretiskt program för kandidatutbildningen på Stockholms konstnärliga högskola.
Nadi Tofighian är en av redaktörena för den akademiska tidskriften Early Popular Visual Culture och sitter med i redaktionsrådet för det digitala bildningsmagasinet Anekdot. Han är sedan januari 2020 styrelseledamot i Svenska Filminstitutet.
I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
Mapping 'the whirligig of amusements' in colonial Southeast Asia
2018. Nadi Tofighian. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 49 (2), 277-296Artikel
This article assesses the interconnected nature of Southeast Asia around 1900, the transnational entertainment scene in Southeast Asia, and the role of Singapore as a hub for commerce, shipping, and entertainment. The global and regional development of transportation and communications technology and networks facilitated the movement of people, goods, ideas, and amusement forms. The article is based primarily on archival research from colonial newspapers in the region. It surveys and maps more than one hundred itinerant entertainment companies that travelled throughout Southeast Asia around the turn of the century, thereby creating and visualising a circuit of entertainment.
Moving pictures across colonial boundaries
2016. Dafna Ruppin, Nadi Tofighian. Early Popular Visual Culture 14 (2), 188-207Artikel
This article assesses the transnational exhibition, distribution, and marketing of films in Southeast Asia, primarily the Netherlands Indies and British Malaya, around the turn of the last century, by using the American Biograph as a case study. We have found various 'American Biographs' in the region - some directly linked to the American parent company, which was one of the world's leading companies in early film distribution and projection, and others apparently using the Biograph as a branding tool. This article is divided into three sections, each devoted to an itinerant American Biograph company we have chosen to highlight: their Indian subsidiary, and their subsidiary from the Netherlands, the Java Biorama. By considering their film programming choices and ticket price categories, we map and discuss how early film pioneers, with their cinematographic devices and films, moved between colonial borders, as well as how they were received by their audiences and the local press in Southeast Asia. Their exhibitions created spaces where people from different ethnic backgrounds within the colonial societies could come together as film spectators, yet were segregated within that cinematic space through price levels and racial politics. Finally, the article reflects on the impact of the American Biograph companies on the film exhibition circuit in Southeast Asia, signalling that moving pictures were to become a permanent fixture on the popular entertainment scene.
Blurring the Colonial Binary
2013. Nadi Tofighian, John Fullerton, Charles Musser.Avhandling (Dok)
This dissertation examines and writes the early history of distribution and exhibition of moving images in Southeast Asia by observing the intersection of transnational itinerant entertainment and colonialism. It is a cultural history of turn-of-the-century Southeast Asia, and focuses on the movement of films, people, and amusements across oceans and national borders. The starting point is two simultaneous and interrelated processes in the late 1800s, to which cinema contributed. One process, colonialism and imperialism, separated people into different classes of people, ruler and ruled, white and non-white, thereby creating and widening a colonial binary. The other process was bringing the world closer, through technology, trade, and migration, and compressing the notions of time and space.
The study assesses the development of cinema in a colonial setting and how its development disrupted notions of racial hierarchies. The first decade of cinema in Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore, is used as a point of reference from where issues such as imperialism, colonial discourse, nation-building, ethnicity, gender, and race is discussed. The development of film exhibition and distribution in Southeast Asia is tracked from travelling film exhibitors and agents to the opening of a regional Pathé Frères office and permanent film venues. By having a transnational perspective the interconnectedness of Southeast Asia is demonstrated, as well as its constructed national borders.
Cinematic venues throughout Southeast Asia negotiated segregated, colonial racial politics by creating a common social space where people from different ethnic and social backgrounds gathered. Furthermore, this study analyses what kind of worldview the exhibited pictures had and how audiences reproduced their meanings.
José Nepomuceno and the creation of a Filipino national consciousness
2008. Nadi Tofighian. Film History. An International Journal 20 (1), 117Artikel
The essay examines the contribution made by José Nepomuceno to the Philippine quest for independence and the raising of national consciousness. By portraying Filipino views, lives and traditions, Nepomuceno was instrumental in creating an imagined community in a colonial society. He created a national consciousness by writing the history of the national with his camera; films that were viewed by people from all social strata across the Islands. The films of Nepomuceno spread Tagalog language and culture, and gradually made Filipino national culture converge with Tagalog culture.