Special Issue Call for Papers: Studies in South Asian Film & Media

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Studies in South Asian Film & Media
contact email: 

Special Issue Call for Papers: Studies in South Asian Film & Media


‘Marathi Cinema and Media’


View the full call here>>



It is now a critical common sense that the Marathi film industry’s geographical and cultural co-location with the ‘national’ Hindi film industry located in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, has meant it has had to face spatial, infrastructural and spectatorial challenges from the mid-1940s onwards. The industry’s struggles regarding the availability of finance and resources and the subsequent dip in the popularity of its products led to a steady decline in the number of releases; at times, only four or five films saw yearly theatrical releases during the last decades of the twentieth century. This seems to have changed in 2004, which not only saw the release of Shwaas, which became India’s official entry to the Oscars that year but several other films as well. Shwaas (2004) was seen as marking a new phase in the production and reception of Marathi cinema. In the wake of the country’s adoption of neo-liberal policies in the 1990s that opened the doors to global capital and a free-market economy, enormous changes have been visible across regions in film and media cultures in terms of industry practices, media forms, audiences, spaces of production and reception, publicity patterns, celebrity formations, proliferation and integration of digital technology, expansion of entertainment and news content on OTT platforms such as YouTube, etc. The power of capital and corporations, often circumventing the national structures of power and governance, have allowed them to directly intervene in and shape the cultural and affective landscape of specific regions.


Despite Marathi cinema’s rich and varied history, scholarship has been sparse and only in recent years do we notice a growing academic interest in the field. If this is likely a response to Marathi cinema’s newfound prominence generally and the popular and critical success of films like Sairat (2016) particularly, a growing scholarly interest in the histories and archives of the region’s cinematic forms, genres, production spaces and practices and viewing cultures is also noticeable. With the view to expand and build upon this critical interest and emerging scholarship, SAFM proposes a special issue on Marathi film and media to be published towards the end of 2024. This call invites engagement and enquiry into the specificity of the film and media culture in Marathi, including its differences and themes, as well as in terms of the national/global reach and popularity of other regional media formations. It is hoped that the essays featured in the volume will reflect and comment on Marathi cinema and media in Maharashtra through the lens of film and culture studies, media studies, screen histories, archival studies, feminist and gender studies, etc. We invite contributions from scholars, researchers and practitioners of Marathi film and media.


Topics for papers may include but are not limited to the following:


  • Marathi film and media as social history

  • Labour practices in the Marathi film industry

  • Marathi advertising culture;

  • Song and dance in Marathi cinema

  • The rap song; Politics and Circulation

  • Folk song/dance and video cultures

  • Feminist analysis of Marathi films, music, television series, YouTube content, etc.

  • Class, caste and gender: The politics of subalternity and marginalization in Marathi film, music and media

  • Archives of Marathi cinema

  • Contemporary news media/documentary and the Marathi public sphere

  • Marathi cinema/media and consumer culture

  • Nationalism and Marathi cinema/media in the context of neoliberalism

  • Identity and representation in cinema, television and documentary

  • Histories and ideologies of Marathi film forms and genres

  • Marathi films in film festivals

  • Stardom and celebrity culture in Marathi film and media

  • Independent or parallel cinema cultures in Maharashtra


Dates and Deadlines


Abstracts of 400–500 words, along with author bio should be emailed to aartiwani@gmail.com by 30 October 2023. In addition to critical essays of 6000–8000 words, shorter creative pieces of 2000–4000 words, such as interviews and photo essays, are also welcome. Write to aartiwani@gmail.com to discuss ideas.


The deadline for the first draft is 15 April 2024. All contributions will be peer-reviewed, and the final submission will be due by 31 July 2024.

All copyrights are to be cleared by the authors. Guidelines for the Intellect house style are available at https://www.intellectbooks.com/asset/1414/house-style-guide-5th-ed-2021-n.pdf.