Office of Research

VCUarts explores new research directions in arts, design, technology and science by connecting arts and design discoveries to the world beyond the studio, lab and classroom.

The Office of Research supports the translation of faculty creative scholarship into fundable projects. The Office of Research aims to increase national and international recognition of faculty creative works and research, while championing the role of arts and design within any research endeavor.


Associate Professor, Photography & Film
MFA, Temple University
BA, Mount Holyoke College

To read more about faculty research at VCUarts, read our publication,
Arts + Design Research at the University of Yes.


Sonali Gulati is an independent filmmaker, feminist, grassroots activist and educator whose documentaries explore contemporary social and cultural issues of her native India. Her films have achieved critical acclaim internationally.Grants, fellowships, awards:

  • Third Wave Foundation Grant
  • World Studio Foundation Grant
  • Robert Giard Memorial Fellowship
  • Creative Capital Foundation Grant
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

Project: Indian Patient
Overview: Gulati’s film project, Indian Patient, is a nontraditional documentary that uncovers the growing underground medical industry of “curing” homosexuality in India. The film creates a dialogue between factions with differing points of view by exploring the story of one individual in-depth: the gay patient, his family, gay and lesbian activists and reactions by medical professionals. The process of making the film will address the subjects of authorship, spectatorship and representation.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
“I was drawn to filmmaking through ethnographic films where I saw ‘others’ (usually people of color in developing countries) being represented by mainly white men. And I began to wonder and ask the question: who has the power to represent whom? And what would happen if one got to represent one’s self? Would that representation change? So I began to make films about representing one’s self.”

Research Partners