622015 Lecture with integrated practical parts in Contemporary History: India in Cinema and History

summer semester 2014 | Last update: 05.06.2014 Place course on memo list
Lecture with integrated practical parts in Contemporary History: India in Cinema and History
VU 2
not applicable

The aim of the course, 'India in Cinema and History' is to introduce students, to the fascinating cinematic and related twists and turns of Indian Cinema's 100 year long journey, while simultaneously allowing time to reflect on much that Indian Cinema, this 'aparatus with huge cultural import' tells us about the society, and the wider world,  within which it is coming into being. It is to be hoped that the course will spark a new, or in some cases deeper interest among students not only in the rapidly growing field of film and media studies with regard to Bollywood and Indian Cinema, but equally in many other aspects of the cultural history of modern India seen as elements in broader historical processes associated with the Making of Modern South Asia.

Already by the late-1930's India had become the third largest film producing country in the world, by the beginning of the '70's, the largest. By the 1980's the output had risen to about 900 films a year, with about 15 million daily viewers in the 11, 000 cinema halls across the country, and so it went as the world entered the new millennium.

The course 'Indian in Cinema and History' will proceed by tracing as clearly as possible the constant interplay between the significant contours of India's economic, social and political history, 1857-2013, and Indian Cinema's 100 year long journey, 1913-2013. While steering clear of reductionism and overdetermination and remaining sensitive to the relative autonomy of spheres, the effort will be to trace in as nuanced a manner as possible the ways in which India's twentieth and early twenty-first century history informed the making of Indian films, particularly popular films, as also the ways in which this world of films impacted and influenced the making of Modern India/South Asia. The course, while drawing hugely on the experience of Bombay Cinema, will aim nonetheless, at introducing students to the rich histories of regional cinema in India by looking at Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali Cinema for instance, while also making forays into the stories of alternative cinema and documentary film-making in India

The teaching method will rely largely on a series of lectures on the subject at hand. The lectures will be interspersed with showing carefully selected film clips, a collective reading of a few relevant commentaries perhaps the screening of a couple of full length feature films and documentaries and as much discussion as possible.

Course examination according to § 7, statute section on "study-law regulations"

In addition to a few general readings on the Making of Modern India/South Asia from the bibliography recommended for the lecture course I offered in 2012, the following introductory readings around the History of Indian Cinema are recommended. These are books. A list of articles is being put together. Films and film clips to be shown, shall be announced in course of time:


Barnouw, Erik and Krishnaswamy, S  'Indian Film' OUP, 1980


Prasad, Madhav  'The Ideology of the Hindi Film ', OUP, 1999


Vasudevan, RS (Ed.)  'Making Meaning in Indian Cinema',  OUP, 2000


Virdi, Jyotika  'The Cinematic Imagination: Indian Popular Films as Social History'  Permanent Black, 2003


Mazumdar, Ranjani  'Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City, Permanent Black, 2007


Mehta, Rini Bhattacharya & Pandharipande, RV,  'Bollywood and Globalisation: Indian Popular Cinema, Nation and Diaspora'  Anthem South Asian Studies, 2011 


Vasudevan, RS 'The Melodramatic Public : Film Form and Spectatorship in Indian Cinema' Permanent Black, 2010


Juluri, Vamsee, 'Bollywood Nation: India through Its Cinema, 2013


Sundaram, Ravi (Ed.)  'No Limits: Media Studies from India' OUP, 2013


Prasad, Madhav--forthcoming book on Stars and Stardom, Orient Blackswan


Online-enrolment required, starting 27.01.2014!

Group 0
Date Time Location
Tue 2014-05-27
08.30 - 12.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free
Wed 2014-05-28
08.30 - 12.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free
Mon 2014-06-02
08.30 - 12.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free
Tue 2014-06-03
08.30 - 12.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free
Wed 2014-06-04
08.30 - 12.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free
Thu 2014-06-05
08.30 - 11.30 40628 UR 40628 UR Barrier-free