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Rowena Santos Aquino

Dr. Rowena Santos Aquino is Lecturer of Film and Electronic Arts (FEA) and teaches courses on Film History, Documentary Film History & Theory, and international cinemas. 


  • BA in English, Scripps College
  • MA in Cinema & Media Studies, UCLA
  • PhD in Cinema & Media Studies, UCLA
Other training:
  • Armory Center for the Arts
    • Photography

Specializations/Research Interests

Dr. Aquino’s areas of specialization are documentary film theory and international/transnational cinemas. 
Within documentary film studies, Dr. Aquino is particularly interested in researching docufictionforms, alternative models of testimony and remembering that emphasize performance and embodiment, and questions of historiography in relation to image-making 
With respect to international/transnational cinemas, Dr. Aquino is drawn specifically to Asian documentary, cinemas,and culturesand representations of cross-border movements and cross-cultural encounters, all with the view towards exploring comparative perspectives of witnessing.

Select Publications

Unremembering and Re-memberingthe Philippine-American War through the Composite Bodies of Reenactment [journal article], Verge: Studies in Global Asias: ForgettingWars, 5, 2 (Fall 2019): 132-155. 
Music and the ‘Minor’: Musical Expression as Oral Testimony in the Films of Bahman Ghobadi[book chapter], Film Music and National Cinemas,GermánGil-Curiel(ed.), London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 
To Live (With) Cinema: Documenting Cinephilia and the Archival Impulse [journal article], LOLA4 (Sep 2013). 
Contested Topographies, Collaborative Testimonies: Remapping the Politics of Movement, Music, and the Road (Movie) in the Middle East [journal article], Transnational Cinemas2, 2 (Mar 2012): 147-162. 
Necessary Fictions: From Cinéma vérité to Ciné, ma vérité(s) [journal article], CINEJ Cinema Journal1, 2 (2012): 50-61. 
The Collective Performance of Female Youth in The Apple(1998) [journal article], Red Feather: AnInternational Journal of Children’s Visual Culture1, 2 (Fall 2010): 26-40. 
Negotiating the Spectre and Spectatorship of Trauma in S-21: TheKhmer Rouge Killing Machine(2003)[journal article], Asian Cinema18, 2 (Fall/Winter 2007): 62-78.