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2019 Plenary Presenters

Ram Devineni produced The Russian Woodpecker, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He produced and directed the true-crime documentary, The Karma Killings, about the Nithari serial murders in India. The film was exclusively available on Netflix and now on Amazon Prime. He is the creator of the augmented reality comic book, Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror, which received the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from the Ford Foundation and supported by the World Bank, and showcased at 2016 New York Film Festival. For creating India’s first female superhero who is a rape survivor, he was named a “gender equality champion” by UN Women. The series mixes Hindu mythology with social activism. He was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the most creative people in business in 2017 for his innovative use of augmented reality to address social issues.

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A. David Lewis is an Instructor and Program Coordinator for the Masters of Health Sciences program at MCPHS University. Following his work as co-editor for Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels as well as Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation, he is now series co-editor with Matthew William Brake of the “Religion and Comics” imprint at Claremont Press. His 2014American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife was an Eisner Award nominee for “Best Scholarly/Academic Work.” In addition to his classes and publications on Comics Studies and Religion, he has also taught and presented on the subject of Graphic Medicine, specifically the portrayal of cancer narratives in the comics medium. Dr. Lewis is also the writer of Kismet, Man of Fate for publisher A Wave Blue World and the President of the Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective (CYRIC).

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