Historicizing Myths in Contemporary India: Cinematic Representations and Nationalist / Fascist Agendas
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Call For Proposals
Myths in Contemporary India:
Cinematic Representations and Nationalist / Fascist Agendas
Editors: Swapna Gopinath and Rutuja Deshmukh
Call for papers for a book approved for publication by Routledge, on Bollywood cinema, expected to fall within the interdisciplinary spaces of Cultural Studies, Film Studies and Postcolonial Studies.
Even as the air in Delhi grows increasingly toxic and poisonous, a fearful, dreaded specter is haunting the subcontinent today, just as toxic as the poisonous air. The rise and rise of Hindutva, or Hindu nationalism or political Hindu agenda that has engulfed India has also initiated the favorite pursuit of of invoking the ‘glorious past’. This ‘glorious past is primarily being invoked by a surge of historical(s) in Bollywood.
Indian Popular Cinema has evolved through various genres and has successfully and consistently borrowed plots from History to create classics like Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Meera (1979). As a technology, able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of collective memory through History. While past in representational terms has been figured in variations of Historical film- the costume drama, heritage picture or historical biopic from early cinema have come to surround the culture of the film.
Bollywood cinema as a popular cultural practice negotiates the socioeconomic and political discourses that define the social structures, the dialectical nature of this a political dimension to the cultural processes at any given point in time. Contemporary India, at a critical juncture, opens up spaces for discussions and deliberations on the fast-paced social changes and a study of the politics of representations seems the need of the hour. Cinema responds in manifest ways and one genre, typically representative of the age of re-readings and re-writings of history, is the historical films. Historical films getting released in the last few years have been increasing in numbers and are often accompanied by controversies and debates on the veracity of these representations. Questions asked the authenticity of these representations urge researchers to probe deeper into these works of art, as well as these questions being asked. The histories chosen, the protagonists selected, the narrative strategies employed, the target audience as well as the critics – all these multifarious aspects demand close reading and the proposed text seeks to explore them.
The progression of cinema as a political tool and cultural medium in the wider society; cinema has reacted to and in the changing political, social and economic conditions of the times. The projection of in a popular medium depends on various perceptions of history that has been in circulation in the popular culture. Till date cinema has borrowed representations of historicity from both academic and non-academic association with history.
Looking at and its representation as a specific framework, we invite papers for proposed book chapters on Contemporary Cinema and Construction of History.
The book aims to blend academic papers and film a platform to discuss cinematic historical interventions and transformations in India. Papers are expected to address but are not limited to:
Construction of memory and identity
Precision of digital and tactile past
Aesthetic conception of propaganda
Gender and depiction of historical moments
Egomania and servitude in the depiction of historical battles
The politics of reception and production
The hero and the protagonist and the public imagination