A native of Baltimore, Maryland, award-winning documentary filmmaker April Kalogeropoulos Householder attended film school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she studied experimental film and video production, and Art History. As a student, she made a short video a
bout women and sexual violence called “Mudflap Girls”, and developed a political consciousness about feminism, globalization, representation, and the media. While in college, she also wrote and directed a documentary film about The Baltimore Preservation Initiative, which won the International Television Association Award for Excellence in External Communication at the Maryland Video Festival in 1994, and Voices: Strengthening Families Through Linking Neighborhoods, screened by Mayor Kurt Schmoke. In 1994, she interned with the writing department for the critically acclaimed NBC television show,
Homicide: Life on the Street. Her Senior project was a 3-screen video installation entitled, “The Fall of (Wo)man” (triptych).
From 1996-2004, she taught film studies courses at the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed a Master’s thesis on 1970s blaxploitation films and the politics of performance, entitled, “Race Camp: Blaxploitation Cinema and the Politics of Performance.” Under the tutelage of Dr. John Fuegi and his “Women of Power” documentary film series, she completed a multi-media Ph.D. dissertation, and received her doctoral degree in Comparative Literature and Film Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, in December, 2006. Her dissertation film, The Brave Stepped Back: The Life and Times of Laskarina Bouboulina, premiered at the Armata Festival in Spetses, Greece on September 8, 2005, at the request of the island’s Mayor, Mr. Evangelos Kontaxakis, and is collected by the University of Maryland Libraries and the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois, as well as many universities and Greek Orthodox parishes world-wide. She has been an adjunct faculty member in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she taught courses related to gender, race, class, sexuality, and the media, such as “International Feminist Directors”, “Gender, Race, and Media”, “Critical Studies of Pornography”, and “Queer Representations in Film and Television”. At Howard Community College, she taught an online course, “Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Films “. She has appeared as a guest on HCC’s Armchair Directors radio program where she discusses important directors and their films.
From 2004-2016, she served as the Assistant Director for UMBC’s Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which provides research, mentoring, and training to first- generation, low-income, and minority students to prepare them for doctoral studies. In January, 2017, Dr. Householder joined the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Office of Undergraduate Education, as the Director of Undergraduate Research and Nationally Competitive Scholarships. In this role, Dr. Householder is responsible for growing the undergraduate research profile of the University through strategic partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and coordinating important undergraduate academic programming such as the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), UMBC Review (peer reviewed research journal), travel funding, promotion of summer research programs, and the Undergraduate Research Awards (URA). In addition, she oversees students applying for prestigious scholarships suchas Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Truman, Marshall, Goldwater, and others.
While attending graduate school, she became interested in her maternal heritage as a Greek American. The Brave Stepped Back is an independently produced biography about Bouboulina, the heroine of the Greek War of Independence (1771-1825). It is the first in a series of historical biographical documentary films about important women in Greek history that she plans to make. The next film is in the research/pre-production phase and is tentatively titled, Lela Karayanni: “The Most Dangerous Spy in the Balkans”. Karayanni was a Greek spy during the Nazi occupation of Greece in the 1940s, and is the great grand-daughter of Bouboulina herself. She named her secret underground organization “Bouboulina,” in order to protect her from the scrutiny of the German Gestapo, who eventually captured, tortured, and murdered her and seventy-one of her comrades in the Haidari concentration camp in September, 1944. Also in the works is a film about Greece’s first female painter, Eleni Altamoura, who was the subject of Rhea Galanakis’ novel, Eleni, or Nobody, which won the Greek State Prize for Best Novel, in 1999. April has founded her own production company, Mataki Productions, which will produce the series.
In 2016, she published her first book, Feminist Perspectives on Orange is the New Black: 13 Critical Essays. Her chapter entitled, “Lena Dunham, GIRLS, and the Contradictions of Fourth Wave Feminism” appears in Feminist Theory and Pop Culture (Sense Publishers, 2015). Her chapter, “Dancing Zorbas, Happy Hookers, and the Greek Indignant Citizens Movement: Gendered Myths and Realties of the Greek Economic Crisis in the Media” will be published in spring, 2018 in the book, Occupy theScreen: The Great Recession in Media (McFarland). She has published in Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine and on the Hellenic Communication Service (website). Her current research is focused on themes of resistance and catharsis in Greek contemporary art, music, and film in the context of the european economic crisis.
In her free time, she enjoys riding vintage Japanese motorcycles, playing the doumbek, and collecting vinyl records. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her son, Athan. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the UMBC Magazine profile on Dr. Householder.