Prince Jayasinhji Jhala


A note from Karim Ajania:

Prince Jayasinhji Jhala and I were fellow graduate students together at the Media Lab at MIT where we both received our Master of Science degrees. He now teaches at both Harvard University and Temple University where he is an Associate Professor. In his own words…

I am the director of Temple’s graduate and undergraduate tracks in the anthropology of visual communication, and of our visual communication media lab.

I have been involved in interpreting culture on film and video for the past thirty years.

I was educated at St. Stephens College, Delhi, India, where I received a BA in English Literature (1968); Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I received an MVS (1983); and at Harvard University, where I received a PhD (1991).

I have produced, directed, filmed and edited over 15 well-received ethnographic films which illustrate cultures of India, the USA and Vietnam and speak to issues in visual anthropology.


My films include the following: A Zenana and Tragada Bhavai: A Rural Theater Troupe of Gujarat (1981), Bharvad Predicament and Journey with Ganapati (1983), Forgotten Headhunters and Apatani Sacrifice (1978), Whose Paintings? (1995), Morning with Asch (1997), Conversation with a Collector: Dialogue with a Docent (1998), Close Encounters of No Kind (2002), ShaktiMa no Veh (2006), The Last Rites of the Honourable Mr. Rai (2009), and Rejuvenating the Land, Uniting the People (2009).

The above films have been seen by national and international audiences. Information about several of my films is available from Documentary Educational Resources.

My written publications address issues of art and anthropology, nomadism, religious worship, indigenous interpretations of local culture, ethnographic filmmaking and its reception, photography, Hindu marriage, Rajput ideology and politics and Vietnamese rituals.

With my friend and fellow director Karim Ajania, I am pioneering the Halvad Revitalization Initiative in Gujarat, India, of which I am Founder (click here to read more).

In this Nov. 13, 2008 file photo, the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. is seen. Harvard University officials say Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 that its largest-in-the-nation endowment earned a profit of $4.4 billion in fiscal 2011, growing to a robust $32 billion. This marks the second year in a row of strong growth for an endowment that fell by $11 billion to $26 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 2009. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, file)