Bollywood and Its Other(s)

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School of Design, Communication and IT, University of Newcastle

Bollywood, with aesthetics of its own, is a veritable storehouse of material that can be read in as many ways as possible. As a genre that has grown and developed over a period of 100 years, it is coloured by India's history, politics, socio-economic conditions, culture, sensibilities, dreams, fantasies, hopes and expectations. It is a globalized cultural industry, cinema of attractions and the most fascinating film industry of the world packaged with romance, melodrama, action, costumes, songs and dance extravaganzas.
In this conference we would like to trace the various "other(s)" of Bollywood, the globalized culture industry that has successfully transcended the confines of India, urging scholars to discuss its global histories. While the history of the industry before the widely debated economic liberalization was that of an ongoing confrontation with the state, it has become a part of Indian state's cultural diplomacy after the liberalization. Our conference will challenge this normative mode, bringing out the ruptures prevalent in the mainstream history, of cinema as well as of the state.
This conference will concern itself with the possibility of writing alternative histories of the industry. Critical examination of the alternative histories of the national popular industry would help us to look critically at the alternative histories of the nation as well. The aim and objective of the conference is to re-evaluate the standard received versions of cinematic history, the developmentalist narrative situated in a linear historical time and to re-think various formations in the industry which have achieved normative status. Possible issues include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Alternative historiography;
2. History beyond the nation-state paradigm;
3. Bollywood's representation of Indian other(s) i.e. religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous population, Kashmir and its people, people belonging to the North-Eastern Hill states;
4. Bollywood as alter(normative), sexuality, queer issues, women in Bollywood, movie vamps, item numbers, soft porn;
5. Bollywood song, dance and music.
6. Bollywood stars and their representations.
7. Bollywood's marginal genres, the horror film, the science fiction film;
8. Bollywood vis-à-vis other industries, especially the South Indian industries and the linguistic identity politics; and
9. Alternative/arthouse/avant-garde cinema in Hindi vis-à-vis Bollywood.

Kindly send your 250 words abstract along with 100 words biographical notes to Dr Vikrant Kishore:, Dr Susan Kerrigan: or Dr Amit Sarwal: by 24th December 2013.

Convenors: Dr Vikrant Kishore, Dr. Susan Kerrigan (University of Newcastle) and Dr Amit Sarwal (Deakin University)
Coordinator: Parichay Patra (Monash University)

Conference Session Format:

• Individual Paper Presentation (20 mins) + 10 minutes Q&A Session
• Panel Discussions (3 member panels to be formed, each member will have 10 minutes to present and after the presentations 20 minutes for Q&A and discussions)
• Round Table Session: Two round table sessions will be conducted where practitioners from the media industry will participate.
• Film Screening: Two Bollywood films will be screened on the eve of the conference and a skype interaction with a Bollywood Actor/Director from Mumbai.
Tentative Conference plan:

20th February: 6pm onwards Bollywood Film Screening followed by a discussion. Dinner reception.

21st February: 8:30-9am-Registration, 9:00 am: Official Welcome, 9:45am onwards: Paper presentations and discussions.

Abstracts submission:
• Max 250 words Abstract
• submitted by emailing: Dr Vikrant Kishore:, Dr Susan Kerrigan: or Dr Amit Sarwal:
• Submission deadline: 24th December 2013
• All abstracts will be peer-reviewed prior to acceptance
• A Full Paper pro-forma will be emailed to all Authors upon acceptance of abstracts
• Full Papers will be limited to 4,000 words in length
• Full paper submission is required by 5th February 2014