“Dear Aditya, I am writing to you to report on my stay at the Institute of Advanced Study. First of all I wish to thank you and your staff for hosting me for the period. The time was wonderfully productive. Although there weren’t many other guests around I was delighted to meet the Oldenbergs. I found Mr. Jain and his staff helpful and courteous in a manner that made our stay most pleasant. If there were problems, I knew I could always count on your staff to try and resolve them.
“I was able to spend concentrated time researching and writing on Indian cinema in collaboration with Dr. Ira Bhaskar in the School of Arts and Aesthetics. Dr. Bhaskar and I were able to almost complete a monograph entitled Islamicate Genres of Bombay Cinema to be published in the spring by Tulika press in conjunction with a film festival that we are organizing in Abu Dhabi. The monograph focuses on three main genres, the historical, the Courtesan Film, and the Muslim Social. The opportunity to work un-interrupted and in close proximity to Dr. Bhaskar for two months allowed me to be incredibly productive. I will of course acknowledge the role of the Institute in enabling my work when the book is published. In addition, I enjoyed the opportunity to give a talk on Hitchcock and Hindi Cinema both at JNU and at the Nehru Memorial Library, as well as conducting a short class at the Habitat Center in Delhi. This forms the nucleus of what may turn out to be another book that uses Hitchcock as a case study for the way in which Hindi cinema engages and transforms the idioms of Hollywood.
“…I repeat: my stay was quite wonderful, and I do hope that in the future that I shall be able to return. Perhaps this could be during a semester when I could participate more fully in the life of the university. With thanks and best wishes.”
Professor Richard Allen, Professor and
Chair of Cinema Studies, Tisch
School of the Arts,