Dr. Selina Mudavanhu

Assistant Professor

Email: mudavans@mcmaster.ca

Dr. Selina Mudavanhu

Selina Mudavanhu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University. She holds a PhD in Media Studies from the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. One of Selina’s research interests is digital storytelling. In this work, she prioritises the voices of the ‘subaltern.’ Selina is interested in the manner ordinary people speak back to power, articulate their lived experiences, and create alternative meanings through digital storytelling.

Selina has prior experience in convening training workshops in the digital storytelling methodology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has also co-created digital stories with non-profit organizations based in Cape Town. She worked with an organization for women and children survivors of gender-based violence to co-create an advocacy video – ‘Keep the Saartjie Baartman Centre Open’ – as an urgent response to a financial crisis that was threatening the existence of the organization. Once uploaded to social media, the digital story resulted in the organization receiving the supports it needed at that time. Selina has also created digital stories based on her own experiences and travels. After visiting the Cape Coast Castle and the Elmina Castle in Ghana, she created a short digital story – ‘The Door of Return’ – in which she reflected on the different emotions that she contended with as she walked through the former slave trade centres.

Projects:

Mac I Stories: Exploring Digital Storytelling as a Tool for Racialized International Students at McMaster University to Share their Experiences

In the project, racialized international students in their first year of undergraduate and graduate study at McMaster University use technologies available to them to record and subsequently construct digital stories on their experiences of being human in racialized bodies both on and off-campus. This project is funded by the Arts Research Board (ARB).

Layering and Animating Meaning: Exploring Experiences of Black College-to-university Transfer Students at McMaster University Through Interviews and Digital Storytelling
This project explores experiences of Black college-to-university transfer students at McMaster University, focusing specifically on their experiences of transferring and settling into university. The project recommends ways of making the transfer process more seamless for these students as well as ways universities can develop supportive and inclusive environments. This project is funded by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT).