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The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences covers many topics, such as literature, communications, world history, philosophy, psychology, and more. In many cases, courses are deliberately geared to the interests and pursuits of DigiPen students and often serve as a source of inspiration for student game projects. The department’s faculty bring an extensive humanities background in English, literature, the law, and an appetite for and thorough understanding of today’s rich media landscape.


Department Faculty

Shanthina Ravindran

Department Chair
Senior Lecturer

Shanthina received her Bachelor of Laws at the University of London followed by a Master of Education-English Language degree at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Before joining DigiPen (Singapore) as a full-time lecturer, Shanthina taught part-time at the Institute as well as at other educational institutions, including the National University of Singapore and National Institute of Education. She currently teaches composition, graphic novels, research reasoning, argument, and intellectual property law.

Shanthina also lists reading and writing as her chief pleasures outside of the workplace. When it comes to her teaching philosophy, she tries to live by the following quote from William Arthur Ward:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

Dr. Jiaying Sim

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jiaying Sim received her BA and MA degrees in English literature from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in film and television studies from the University of Glasgow, UK.

Her research interests include transnational Chinese cinemas, bodies on screens, and film philosophy. Focusing on different types of body assemblages that are produced with consideration to historicity, modernity, urban spaces, race, class, gender, and sexuality, she is interested in various circuits of transnational sensoria and affects that are deeply embedded within the dynamic movements and processes of capital, labour, socioeconomic markets, and political climates, which are unique to different cinematic industries. She has written on film festival circuits, transnational Chinese cinemas, American independent films, Asian cinemas, Scottish art, curation and exhibition, and Singapore films.

Dr. Sim has previously taught public writing and communications, Singapore cinema and literature, film and literary theory, and science fiction dystopian and utopian films at other tertiary institutions, including Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, and the University of Glasgow, UK.

As an educator, her main teaching philosophy is to inspire students to think critically and independently and to articulate their own ideas effectively through the craft of writing. She understands that the journey of teaching, as with learning, is one that requires continuous reflection and growth.

Selected Publications:

Sim, Jiaying. “Embodiment, Curation, Exhibition: Report on Douglas Gordon’s ‘Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now.’” (Television, Video, Installation) Screen Bodies, Vol 1.1 (2015)

Sim, Jiaying. “The Embodiment of Eros: Making Sense of Wong Kar-wai’s ‘The Hand.’” Transnational Chinese Cinema: Corporeality, Desire, and Ethics. (2015)

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