13th ISHORE Webinar | Dr. Bindu Menon: "Affective Vocality and Malayalam Film Publics" | 7.30pm IST, 31 March 2022

Mahmood Kooria Discussion

The Institute for Social Sciences, Humanities and Oceanic Research (I-SHORE), Kerala, India, is delighted to invite you to the thirteenth session of its webinar series "Confluences 2022". In this edition, Dr. Bindu Menon (Associate Professor of Media Studies, Azim Premji University, Bangalore) would give a talk titled "Aural Awakenings: Affective Vocality and Malayalam Film Publics (1900-1950)" on Thursday,  7.30 pm (Indian Standard Time), 31 March 2022.  For more details on the topic, see the abstract below.

The noted historian Professor Lakshmi Subramaniam (Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Goa) would be the discussant, and Dr. Saji Mathew (School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam) would chair and moderate the session. The event is organized in collaboration with the School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. 

To participate please register at ishorekerala@gmail.com


Abstract: Sound in technical terms, that is, synchronised dialogue, pre-recorded sounds, and originally recorded music arrived in Malayalam cinema only in 1938. Even before cinema turned into talking films, new modes of listening were cultivated by the arrival of audio technologies like gramophone records and the radio. While mapping the broad shifts in sound media of the period, the lecture will pay specific attention to the cusp years of the late colonial period of 1930-1950, to demonstrate the relevance of ‘voice’ and subsequently of ‘language’ in shaping the central characteristics of the Malayalam publics. Through a close reading of listening practices, dialogue renditions, songwriting competitions and recitations that emerged in the vernacular print and aural practices, the lecture will try to demonstrate the relationship between sound aesthetics and language that enabled new affections for language and various political movements of the late colonial period. By excavating an affective vocality that bound media publics and political movements, the lecture will argue that cinema played a historically pivotal role in negotiations of regional identity through “voice”.