Indian Animated Media

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Timothy Jones - Robert Morris University
contact email: 

Proposals are invited for chapters in a new edited collection on the topic of ‘Indian Animated Media and Culture.’

Indian animation has transformed dramatically over the last twenty-five years. No longer a cottage industry or government-funded communication enterprise, a diverse globally-engaged production sector has emerged. Large Indian studios have built global reputations securing animation and visual effects production contracts, while other artists and firms have made strides in original content for local television and film festival audiences. While outsourcing still represents a majority of entertainment output, work-for-hire contracts have slowly given way to co-production. International brands have also set up shop in India, from multinational distributors like Disney XD or AT&T’s Cartoon Network, to producers like Technicolor and Ubisoft. In striking contrast to these developments, artisanal and even explicitly non-commercial animation continues to be produced, and in some cases thrive.

There are also persistent challenges. Industry growth has rarely met predicted targets. The domestic animated features many thought would drive expansion have largely failed to materialize, as outsourcing to other Asian nations has increased television competition as well. Bankruptcies at both local and international firms have shaken investors while a not-yet-united animation community has struggled to secure policy recognition apart from the dominant Hindi-language cinema and Information Technology (IT) sectors. However, taking an expanded view of animation to incorporate related areas - visual effects, games, comics, fine art, education, and industrial visualization - shows both a more complex and optimistic picture - from growing Indian investment in global visual effects to children’s animation workshops in rural Adivasi communities.

Both the successes and challenges of Indian animation have largely escaped attention from audiences, critics, and scholars alike. While a growing body of scholarship draws global critical attention to the cultural practice of Indian - and especially Hindi - cinema, animation remains for the most part missing from these accounts. This volume aims to fill this glaring gap by addressing a range of expanded animation practices in India, as well as their social, economic, and political impacts.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies of diverse active and historical animators in cultural context
  • Regional industry clusters: relationships with live-action cinemas
  • Television animation: from Doordarshan to multinational networks
  • Animation, Information Technology (IT), and global visual effects
  • Globalization: the 1991 New Economic Policy, outsourcing, and co-production
  • Government animation: Films Division and the Cartoon Film Unit
  • Education and training: from Clair Weeks, Charles and Ray Eames and the National Institute of Design (NID) to the Media and Entertainment Skills Council (MESC)
  • Fine art, documentary, and avant-garde animation
  • Animation and the sacred
  • Adivasi animation: animation by, for, and about indigenous communities
  • Animation and emerging media: Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
  • Women in animation, animation and identity: from caste to LGBTQ rights 
  • Applied/Industrial animation
  • India and her neighbors/the South Asian diaspora 
  • The status of animation studies itself in India

Proposals for chapters (7000-8000 words) in this edited collection should include a chapter title, a brief abstract (400 words), and academic biography (100 words). These should be sent to the editor Dr. Timothy Jones ( before February 15th 2019.