Assistant Professor Stephanie Spray is a filmmaker, phonographer and anthropologist whose work explores social aesthetics and art in everyday life. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology with Media from Harvard University, an MA in Religion from Harvard Divinity School and a BA in Religion from Smith College. Spray is also an affiliate at the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, where she was a student and teacher.
Stephanie Spray’s research interests include visual and media anthropology; the interface between art, anthropology and cinema; the anthropology of science; climate change; religious studies; and phenomenology. She has worked extensively in Nepal since 1999, studying music, religion, and the arts of wandering and ‘getting by’ among a caste of itinerant musicians called the Gandharva—or the Gāine—with whom she made most of her films. In fall 2016 she is beginning production for a new film and sound project, Expedition 363, among scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific drilling ship in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Stephanie Spray’s creative work has been exhibited at the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, MoMA, The Whitney Biennial, CPH:DOX, Rotterdam, Vancouver, Edinburgh, AFI, Viennale, RIDM, True/False, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Harvard Film Archive, Art of the Real, among others. Her film MANAKAMANA (with Pacho Velez) won various awards, including two Leopards at the Locarno International Film Festival and first prize at BAFICI. Manohla Dargis, chief film critic of The New York Times, listed it as a best film of 2014.