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Leena Jayaswal

Associate Professor School of Communication

Leena Jayaswal is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts. She is head of the photography concentration. Her photography has been nationally recognized in galleries around the country. She has worked with famed photographer, Mary Ellen Mark. Her films have been screened in various film festivals around the country. An Impression: Dischord Records was honored as the Best Selected Juror Film at the 2nd Annual Small International Film Festival at the Berkeley Art Center, in California. Crossing Lines was picked up for national distribution to public television affiliates around the country and has been shown on 70 different stations as well as numerous juried international film festivals. This film won numerous awards, including Best American Documentary at the Heart of England Film Festival and The Bronze Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival. She was awarded the prestigious Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. Crossing Lines is available for distribution by New Day Films.


BA Visual Media and Anthropology, American University; MFA Photography, Maryland Institute College of Art

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SOC - School of Communication
Mary Graydon - 331 C
Wednesdays 2-5:00 pm, Thursdays 2-5:00 pm
Contact Info
(202) 885-2662 (Office)

Send email to Leena Jayaswal

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Crossing Lines
Seize This: A documentary about eminent domain

Partnerships & Affiliations


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Professor Jayaswal’s research mainly involves the South Asian Diaspora, although she is also interested in music documentaries as well. She is a photographer, artist and filmmaker.

Media Appearances

  • Darshan TV, “Crossing Lines”, Nov. 2008
  • India in New York, “A Moving Ode to Art” by Arthur Pais, Nov. 2008
  • India Abroad “Film Festival Showcases Variety in Indian Cinema” by Arthur Pais, Oct. 2008
  • India-West “Crossing Lines Documentary Chronicles Identity Search” by Ashfaque Swapan, Sept. 2008
  • India Abroad “Indira’s Crossing” by Arthur Pais, Aug. 2008


  • 30 minute documentary aired on over 40 PBS affiliate stations. Distributed by NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) and has been accepted in 18 juried film festivals, including the International Film Festival of South Africa, Heart of England International, Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, NY, GiRL Fest, Hawaii, Cross Cultural Film Festival,and the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
  • An Impression: Dischord Records 15 min documentary screened at 10 juried festivals including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Our City Film Festival, DC Meets Delhi, Berkeley Arts Center, Miami Independent Film and Music Festival, DC Independent Festival, and Woodstock Museum
  • a work in progress 30 min documentary on eminent domain abuse


  • Solo Show, “din ke sapne”  (Dreams of the Day) International Visions Gallery, Washington DC 2004
  • Group Show, “Remix: East-West Currents in Contemporary Art” Arlington Arts Center, Virginia 2006
  • Group Show, “Photography NOW” Kentucky, 2007
  • Group Show, “Harmony of Hues” Boston 2006
  • Group Show, “Annual National Juried Competition Photography” New Jersey 2004

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Best Documentary Award (for Crossing Lines) at California Arts Association Digital Short Film Festival
  • Best Selected Juror Film (for An Impression: Dischord Records) International Film Festival, Berkeley Art Center
  • Official Photographer for the Patsy Cline Museum

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • The Rivers Project- AU Faculty Research Award
  • Crossing Lines- Department of Education Grant
  • Crossing Lines- AU Faculty Research Award

Professional Services

  • Juror for Photographic and Video Contests- (UFVA-Documentary Film, The Exposure Group, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ITVA- International Television Association, CINE Golden Eagle ASEAN Photography Festival)
  • Co-curator for Visual Griots Exhibition at the Kansas Public Library and The National Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian
  • Northern Virginia Community College Advisory Board for Photography


  • Partition Revisited, iDMAa Conference, Georgia 2008
  • Partition Revisited, UFVA Conference, Colorado 2008
  • The New F- Word, (with Prof. Brigid Maher) Visions in Feminism Conference, Washington DC 2008
  • The New F-Word, iDMAa Conference, Philadelphia 2007
  • The New F-Word, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC 2007
  • The New F-Word, UFVA Conference, Texas 2007
  • Coding Identity: The Symbolic Deconstruction of Hurricane Katrina, UFVA Conference, California 2006
  • Coding Identity: The Symbolic Deconstruction of Hurricane Katrina, iDMAa Conference, Ohio 2006

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