Between Bollywood and the Brown Atlantic: Representation and Difference in Contemporary Indian Cinema

By:
Dr. Samir Dayal
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Contemporary Indian cinema is a site of extraordinary, and transformative, cultural activity. In many recent films such as Mission Kashmir, ideological positions on a resurgent nationalism, as well as on related phenomena such as terrorism appear repeatedly, as if the screen was a prime location for working through important matters of politics as lived in everyday experience. Similarly, contemporary films such as Fire, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala or Hyderabad Blues engage in controversies about the changing ideas about Indian women's sexuality and about unspoken asymmetries or "unspeakable" rearrangements in sexual relationships. And in recent diasporic cinema such as Masala or My Son the Fanatic, ideas about cultural belonging and the refashioning of identity are being recontextualized against the backdrop of debates about globalization, difference and the threat to minority cultures from a culturally hegemonic West. My paper seeks to focus on some of these provocative films to develop an argument about the repositioning of Indian subjectivities in a transnational frame.


Keywords: Transnationalism, Subjectivity, Difference, Globalization, Bollywood, Contemporary Indian cinema.
Stream: Representations: Media, Communications, Arts, Literature
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Samir Dayal

Associate Prof. English, English Department, Bentley College
USA

Samir Dayal, Associate Professor of English at Bentley College, Massachusetts, is the editor, with an introduction, of Julia Kristeva's Crisis of the European Subject, François Rachline's Don Juan's Wager, Lucien Gubbay's Jews under Islam, Patricia Gherovici's The Puerto Rican Syndrome, Sanjay Subrahmanyam et al's Textures of Time, and Barbara Christian's Belief in Dialogue (forthcoming), among other books. He has contributed chapters to several edited collections and articles in journals including Amerasia Journal, Angelaki, Colby Quarterly, College English, Contemporary South Asia Review, Critical Asian Studies, Cultural Critique, Genders, The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, L'Infini, MELUS, Positions, Postmodern Culture, and Socialist Review. Among his interests is the study of cultural aspects of globalization. He is working on a co-edited collection on the language used to describe the effects of globalization across economic, medical, environmental, and humanistic disciplines. The collection's tentative title is Global Babel: Interdisciplinarity, Transnationalism And The Discourses Of Globalization. He has also published some short fiction. Currently he is writing a book about contemporary South Asian cinema and another on 19th century Indian nationalism.

Ref: D05P0228