Bollywood Remakes Hollywood: Cross-Cultural Translations and Makeovers (SCMS Panel) Due Aug. 10

full name / name of organization: 
Rashna Wadia Richards/Rhodes College
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Remakes have always been popular in Hollywood; they are usually regarded as safe commercial bets, and they underscore cinema's ability to shape and reshape the cultural imagination. As examples of cinematic homage or formulaic filmmaking or intertextual interventions, film remakes in Hollywood have received significant critical attention. But how do we think about remakes that cross cultural and national boundaries? How do cross-cultural makeovers transform foreign texts? How do they negotiate the balance between repetition and difference? This panel seeks to investigate the aesthetic and ideological dynamics of cross-cultural remakes by focusing on Bollywood cinema's appropriations of Hollywood films. Remaking a Hollywood film in Bollywood involves much more than simply translating it into Hindi. Cross-cultural remakes recast, adapt, and appropriate American popular culture, and such cinematic border crossings have significant implications for our understanding of how cultures embrace and resist, borrow from and interact with each other in an era of globalization. Rather than seeing these usually unlicensed Bollywood remakes as uncritical homage or derivative plagiarism, the panel will attempt to examine cross-cultural remakes within wider debates about the transnational flows of media.

Papers are invited on critical, theoretical, or historical explorations of how Bollywood makeovers contest and copy Hollywood films. Please email a 300-word abstract, list of six key references, and brief CV to Rashna Wadia Richards ( by Aug. 10. Please consult SCMS guidelines before you send your proposal.

Rashna Wadia Richards
Assistant Professor and Director of Film Studies
Department of English
Rhodes College