The politics and ideology of Indian commercial cinema have become extremely complex, offering a fascinating case-study to scholars of Global Culture. Of particular interest is the re-positioning of individual identity vis-à-vis nation, religion, class, and gender. On one hand, the definition of 'nationhood' and/or community has become much more fluid, keeping in tune with the sweeping universal claims of globalization; the films have consequently revised the scope of their narratives to match India's emerging global business ambitions. On the other hand, the political realities of India's long-standig enmity with Pakistan and the international rise of 'Hindutva' has also contributed to a new strain of jingoism in Indian cinema. 'Bollywood and Globalization' is a significant scholarly contribution to the current debate on Indian cinema, nationhood and Global Culture. The articles represent a variety of theoretical and pedagogical approaches, and the collection will be appreciated by students and scholars alike.
Rini Bhattacharya Mehta is Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has published articles on the politics of religion in nineteenth and early twentieth century Bengal and is currently working on an anthology of South Asian literature; a manuscript on nineteenth century Indian nationalism's revisiting of the Indian past; and a co-edited volume on Partition.
Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande is Professor of Linguistics, Religion, and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has written several books, including a collection of her original Hindi poems and more than sixty research articles and chapters.
Rai recounts his experience of attending the first showing of a Bollywood film in a single-screen theater in Bhopal: the sensory experience of the exhibition space, the sound system, the visual style of the film, the crush of the crowd. From that event, he elicits an understanding of cinema as a historically contingent experience of pleasure, a place where the boundaries of identity and social spaces are dissolved and redrawn. He considers media as a form of contagion, endlessly mutating and spreading, connecting human bodies, organizational structures, and energies, thus creating an inextricable bond between affect and capital. Expanding on the notion of media contagion, Rai traces the emerging correlation between the postcolonial media assemblage and capitalist practices, such as viral marketing and the development of multiplexes and malls in India.
The emerging critical scholarship on the Partition and its aftermath has deepened our understanding of the relationship between historical trauma, collective memory, and cultural processes, and this book provides critical readings of literary and cinematic texts on the impact of the Partition both in the Punjab and in Bengal. The collection assembles studies on Anglophone writings with those on the largely unexplored vernacular works, and those which have rarely found a place in discussions on the Partition. It looks at representations of women’s experiences of gendered violence in the Partition riots, and how literary texts have filled in the lack of the ‘human dimension’ in Partition histories. The book goes on to highlight how the memory of the Partition is preserved, and how the creative arts’ relation to public memory and its place within the public sphere has changed through time. Collectively, the essays present a nuanced understanding of how the experience of violence, displacement, and trauma shaped postcolonial societies and subjectivities in the Indian subcontinent.
Mapping the diverse topographies of Partition-related uncertainties and covering both well-known and lesser-known texts on the Partition, this book will be a useful contribution to studies of South Asian History, Asian Literature and Asian Film.