CinemaSpace: A Two Day Conference on Indian Cinema and the City, 3-4 November 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Rice University
contact email: 
rr16@rice.edu

CinemaSpace

A 
TWO‐DAY
 CONFERENCE
 ON
 INDIAN
 CINEMA 
AND
 THE 
CITY


3
–
4
 November
 2011

Organized
 By 
Chao 
Center 
for 
Asian 
Studies, 
Rice
 University


CinemaSpace
 proposes
 to
 bring
 together
 scholars
 working
 on
 Indian
 cinema
 in
 an
 attempt
 to
 refocus
 our
 attention
 on
 questions
 of
 technology,
 aesthetics
 and
 the
 production
 of
 cinematic
 space.
 The
 structuring
 of
 the
 cinematic
 city
 will
 be
 the
 organizing
 thread
 of
 the
 conference.
 The
 city
 here
 is
 understood
 as
 a
 placeholder
 for
 bringing
 together
 and
 delineating
 concerns
 of
 aesthetics,
 technology,
 modernity
 and 
development.



In
 the
 last
 decade,
 with
 the
 emergence
 of
 a
 globalized
 cultural
 industry
 that
 has
 been
 termed
 ‘Bollywood’,
 a
 segment
 of
 Indian
 cinema
 has
 been
 receiving
 much
 attention
 in
 Western
 academia
 both
 in
 terms
 of
 research
 and
 courses
 being
 taught.
 As
 has
 been
 noted
 by
 film
 scholars,
 narrative
 difficulties
 such
 as
 song‐dance
 sequences
 and
 complex
 plot
 lines
 that
 were
 seen
 as
 hindrances
 to
 the
 appeal
 of
 Indian
 cinema
 in
 the
 West
 has
 today
 become
 infused
 with
 cultural
 and
 economic
 value.
 Scholarship
 that
 focus
 on
 this
 cultural
 value
 of
 ‘Bollywood’
 and
 its
 critique
 based
 on
 the
 argument
 of
 multiplicity
 of
 cinemas
 in
 India
 (or
 regional
 cinemas
 as
 they
 are
 called)
 continues
 to
 read
 aesthetics
 as
 cultural
 difference.
 This
 takes
 attention
 away
 from
 cinema’s
 specificity
 as
 a
 techno‐aesthetic,
 which
 has
 salience
 across
 regional/national
 particularities.
 This
 move
 away
 from
 particularities
 cannot
 be
 ‘post‐’
 or
 ‘pre‐’,
 but
 is grounded
 on 
the 
national 
itself, 
hence 
the 
focus 
in 
this 
conference 
on 
one 
national 
cinema.





The
 conference
 attempts
 to
 initiate
 new
 conversations
 between
 papers
 that
 address
 the
 aesthetics
 and
 narrative
 forms
 of
 Indian
 cinema
 from
 different
 standpoints.
 The
 different
 axes
 around
 which 
city 
space 
is 
organized 
in 
Indian 
cinema 
within, without 
and 
at 
the 
edges 
of 
the 
diegetic 
frame
 will
 be
 of
 interest.
 It
 proposes
 to
 think
 through
 the
 production
 of
 space
 in
 Indian
 cinema
 as
 linked
 to
 cinematic
 and
 other
 art
 practices
 in
 other
 parts
 of
 the
 world
 with
 which
 it
 has
 been
 in
 constant
 contact.
 These
 links,
 although
 more
 visible
 to
 us
 in
 the
 last
 two
 decades,
 have
 been
 a
 feature
 of
 Indian
 cinema
 from
 its
 inception.
 The
 imagining
 of
 the
 cinematic
 city
 is
 a
 significant
 thematic
 that
 will
 allow
 us
 to
 think
 through
 the
 structuring
 of
 space
 in
 Indian
 cinema
 outside
 culturalist
 assumptions,
 and
 to
 help
 us
 understand
 its
 aesthetic
 practice
 as
 historical
 and
 internationalist
 at
 the
 same
 time.
 For
 analytic
 purposes,
 the
 conference
 would
 propose
 to
 bracket
 off
 the
 understanding
 of
 cinema
 as
 a
 space
 of
 representation
 to
 focus
 on
 the
 aesthetic
 concerns
 governing
 it.
 Rather
 than
 cinema
 being
 a
 space
 through
 which
 one
 finds
 traces
 of
 real
 cities,
 the
 conference
 attempts
 to
 think
 of
 space
 of
 the
 city
 in
 cinema
 as 
a 
frame
 of 
intelligibility.



The
 questions 
that 
the 
conference 
will 
address 
include, 
but 
are not 
limited 
to:

• The 
aesthetic
 of 
cinematic 
city

• City, 
modernity 
and 
the 
film 
frame

• Internationalisms
 and
 the
 cinematic
 city

• Realism, 
melodrama 
and 
the 
city

• Trajectories
 of
 film
 aesthetics
 beyond
 the
 nation


• Film 
industry, 
capital 
and
commodity

• State 
formations,
 film 
policy


• Location
 shooting 
and 
the
 studio 
floor


• Camera, 
projector 
and 
the 
eye

• Aurality
 and
 space

• Choreographed 
bodies

• Architecture
 in/of 
cinema

• Movements 
and 
the 
city

• Cartographies,
 habitations, 
navigations


• Celluloid
 and
 digital 
city
 spaces

• City 
limits


Prof.
 Moinak
 Biswas,
 Department
 of
 Film
 Studies,
 Jadhavpur
 University,
 Kolkata
 (India)
 will
 give
 the
 keynote
 address.



Abstracts
 of
 not
 more
 than
 500
 words
 along
 with
 a
 short
 bio‐note
 should
 be
 sent
 to
 Ratheesh
 Radhakrishnan
 at
 rr16@rice.edu
 latest
 by
 April
 10,
 2011.
 Emails
 should
 have
 "film
 conference”
 as
 its
 subject
 line.
 Acceptance
 notifications
 will
 be
 sent
 by
 April
 25,
 2011.
 The
 Chao
 Center
 will
 be
 happy
 to
 host
 the
 selected
 scholars
 in
 Houston
 for
 the
 duration
 of
 the
 conference,
 but
 will
 be
 unable
 to
 cover
 travel
 costs.



Selected
 workshop
 proceedings
 will
 be
 submitted
 for
 publication
 consideration
 as
 a
 special
 journal issue
 to
 the
 journal
 positions:
 asia
 critique
 (currently
 titled
 positions:
 east
 asia
 cultures
 critique)
 in
 2012.
 Inclusion
 in
 the
 proposed
 special
 number 
is
 subject
 to
 a
 provisional
 review
 process;
 acceptance
 and
 publication
 are
 secured 
only 
through
 the 
journal's 
double‐blind
 peer‐review
 process.


For 
future 
updates
 on 
the 
conference: 
http://chaocenter.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=650


Ratheesh
 Radhakrishnan

Postdoctoral
 Fellow


Rice
 University 
Chao 
Center 
for 
Asian 
Studies, 
MS‐475

Houston,
TX
 77005 
USA

rr16@rice.edu

http://asia.rice.edu


cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
popular_culture
postcolonial
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond