Claire Andrade-Watkins



B.A. Simmons College
M.A. Boston University
Ph.D. Boston University

Contact Information

Office: Ubank 801
Phone: 617-824-8822
c_andrade_watkins [at] (E-Mail »)

Cape Verdean American filmmaker/historian Claire Andrade-Watkins, in addition to teaching at Emerson, is a 2016 Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and a Fellow, Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University.

Her scholarship focuses on French and Portuguese-speaking African cinema. She was a 1995-1996 Fulbright Scholar in Cape Verde, and a recipient of an American Philosophical Society grant in l997. She has published in Society for Visual Anthropology, Research in African Literature, The Independent Film and Video Monthly, American Historical Review, and CinémAction.

Grants received for filmmaking include the LEF Foundation, Emerson College Faculty Advancement Grants, and multiple grants from both the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities for her documentary work and other projects. She was a 2009 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Film.

She is the Director of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project, a community based research initiative founded in 2007, and President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc., a production and distribution company founded in l998 specializing in media from the Africana Diaspora. In 2006 Dr. Andrade-Watkins released "Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?" A Cape Verdean American Story" (SKFPR), the popular and critically acclaimed feature documentary about the Cape Verdean community in the Fox Point section of Providence, RI, and the first in a trilogy of documentaries about this unique and important community of the Africana Diaspora.

Recent work includes: Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft, a six part documentary webisode about Local 1329 of the I.L.A. (the International Longshoremen's Association), founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1933, and the first predominantly Cape Verdean labor union in New England. Episode One broadcasted on RI PBS in August of 2015 and the remaining five episodes are in post-production. This webisode is part of the documentary trilogy on the Fox Point Cape Verdean community.

Serenata de Amor is a Cape Verdean love story told in song. This music video/theatric musical short was launched in May 2013 as a global viral release. Hi, Neighbor, her avant-garde/experimental short about a little girl who lost her home to urban renewal, was released in 2011 and awarded a Jury Selection (first prize) in the 2012 Black Maria Film Festival.

Documentary projects currently in post-production include: Atlantic Portals, the sequel to SKFPR, and Nantucket Strolls: Forgotten Byway, which focuses on the work of two Nantucket residents who have worked together to create permanent public recognition of people of color who have resided and continue to reside on Nantucket Island.


Cultural Studies
Documentary Media
Postcolonial Studies