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Prof Ira Bhaskar and Prof Ranjani Mazumdar

Prof Ira Bhaskar and Prof Ranjani Mazumdar

-  Prof Ira Bhaskar and Prof Ranjani Mazumdar

This course is designed to introduce students to the different forms of Indian Cinema from its beginnings to the present with a particular focus on Bombay cinema. As the world's largest producer of films, Indian cinema's existence as a model that could not be destroyed by Hollywood has become something of a legend. Part of the reason for this is the form of popular Indian cinema, which combines song and dance sequences with a melodramatic plot structure. The course will first provide a background to the industrial landscape of Indian cinema as well as trace the specific genres, thematic concerns and the forms of popular cinema. Historically, the course will journey through the silent cinema of the early studio years, the coming of sound, the auteurs and new studios in the post independence period, the consolidation of the star system and the globalization of contemporary cinema. Along with this, the tradition of Indian Art Cinema will be situated to understand the complicated location of the debate between high and low culture in the context of India. Readings will include conceptual and historical writings on different aspects of Indian cinema along with other readings that will provide a background to the historical and political developments of modern South Asia.

Key Readings:

• Eric Barnow & S. Krishnaswamy. Indian Film. New York, Oxford, Delhi: Oxford University Press: 1980.

• Sumita Chakravarty, National Identity in Indian Popular Cinema: 1947-1987. Bombay Calcutta Madras: Oxford University Press, 1996.

• B.D. Garga, So Many Cinemas. Mumbai: Eminence Designs, 1996.

• Lalitha Gopalan, Cinema of Interruptions: Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema, BFI Publishing, London, 2002.

• John Hood, The Essential Mystery. New Delhi : Orient Longman, 2000. Madhava Prasad, Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998

• Ranjani Mazumdar Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City, Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press, 2007 and New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2007

• Ashish Rajadhyaksha, and Paul Willemen, Eds. Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. London & New Delhi, BFI and Oxford, 1994.

• Ravi Vasudevan, Ed. Making Meaning in Indian Cinema. Oxford University Press: 2000.

• Jyotika Virdi, The Cinematic ImagiNation: Indian Popular Films as Social History. 2003. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004.


A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.