Ila Tyagi

Humanities (Film and Media Studies, Literary Studies, Academic Writing)

Writing Lecturer


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Dr Ila Tyagi received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Brown University in 2009. She worked as a public relations executive after college, handling accounts in the renewable energy sector. Dr Tyagi completed a Master’s degree in American Studies at Columbia University in 2013, writing a thesis on the sense of taste via scenes of women eating food in film. Her interests in sensory perception, cinema, and energy culminated in a doctoral dissertation, ‘Extending the Eye: The American Oil Industry in Moving Images’, examining technologies used within the oil industry to enhance the human sense of sight. Upon finishing her joint PhD in Film Studies and American Studies at Yale University in 2018, she arrived in Singapore for the first time, drawn to the way the country combines her favourite aspects of the two she grew up in, India and Kuwait. Her experience as a writing advisor includes serving as a Writing Fellow for three years at Brown, and as a Writing Consultant for three years at Yale.

American cinema and television, embodiment and sensory perception, environmental humanities, food studies, science and technology, twentieth-century literature in English

“Inscribing Interiority and Ideology: Representing the Visually Elusive in the American Petroleum Institute’s Cold War Films,” in “Oil and Media, Oil as Media” special issue of MediaTropes, eds. Jordan Kinder and Lucie Stepanik, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2020): 1–18

“Spatial Survey: Mapping Alaskan Oilfield Infrastructures Using Drones,” in “Becoming Environmental” special issue of Synoptique, eds. Patrick Brodie, Lisa Han, and Weixian Pan, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2019): 32–44

“Ogling Offshore Oil: Vision and Knowledge in Midcentury Gulf of Mexico Documentaries,” in Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies, ed. Zackary Vernon (Baton Rouge, USA: Louisiana State University Press, 2019), 53–65

“Troubled Waters: Unveiling Industrial Negligence in Three Deepwater Horizon Films,” in Make Waves: Water in Contemporary Literature and Film, ed. Paula Farca (Reno, USA: University of Nevada Press, 2019), 221–36

“Smartphone Sociology: Aziz Ansari on Intimacy in the Twenty-First Century,” in Taking a Stand: Contemporary U.S. Stand-up Comedians as Public Intellectuals, eds. Peter Kunze and Jared Champion (forthcoming from University Press of Mississippi)

“Ranches to Oil Wells: Reconfiguring the Western Hero in Hellfighters and Fires of Kuwait,” in Energy Cinema, eds. Robert Lifset, Raechel Lutz, and Sarah Stanford-McIntyre (accepted, pending revisions)

Hollywood in the 1930s
Literature and Humanities 1
Literature and Humanities 2