Shah Rukh Khan and Global Bollywood International Conference September 30

International Conference
Shah Rukh Khan
and Global Bollywood
September 30th – October 2nd 2010
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MASN - Austria (Moving Anthropology Social Network)
Sozial- und kulturanthropologisches Kompetenzzentrum und Vernetzungsbüro
ZVR: 401123252
Mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.masn-austria.org
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie
Universitätsstraße 7
1010 Wien
International Conference
Shah Rukh Khan
and Global Bollywood
September 30th – October 2nd 2010
Sincere thanks are given to our
PARTNERS & SPONSORS
PARTNERS
MASN - Austria (Moving Anthropology Social Network)
Museum of Ethnology
SPONSORS
University of Vienna:
Rectorate of the University of Vienna: Office for International Relations
Faculty of Social Sciences
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies
Department of European Ethnology
Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
BMWF – Federal Ministry of Science and Research
ÖFG – Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft (Austrian Research Community)
Stadt Wien MA 7 – Vienna City Administration
Embassy of India
Additional Sponsors Catering:
Ströck
Fair Trade
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Kesariya Balam – Love Knows no Limits (Film) | Sandeep Kumar
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2
Welcome Note
6
Message of the President
8
WORKSHOP Stardom and Globalisation | October 2nd
Opening Lecture | The Worlds of Shah Rukh Khan | Nasreen Munni Kabir
9
Shah Rukh Khan and his Leading Ladies: Star Images and Globalisation | Robert Rintoull
30
My Own Private Shah Rukh Khan: Chasing an Image | Arya Amir
32
Star Gazing via Documentary: Shah Rukh Khan’s Stardom
in The Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan Khan | Priyadarshini Shanker
33
Outing the King: Global Bollywood and its Muslim Closet | Huma Dar
34
At Home in the World? Shah Rukh Khan
and the Politics of Trans/National Belonging | Sunera Thobani
35
Shah Rukh Khan’s pioneer role in introducing new production, distribution
and marketing techniques in globalised Bollywood | Györgyi Vajdovich
36
PROGRAMME OVERVIEW
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PLENARY SESSION 1 | September 30th
Key note | Unthinking SRK and Global Bollywood:
from Film Studies to Rasa Theory to New Media Assemblages | Rajinder Dudrah
My Name is Khan and I’m a Star.
The making of a movie star in 2000s Bollywood | Ashish Rajadhyaksha
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WORKSHOP Reception and Fandom | October 1st
“Thank you, Shah Rukh Khan!” Reconsidering Audience Studies:
the Reception of Bollywood in Germany | Dagmar Brunow
12
Hyperlinked: Shah Rukh Khan in the Affective Spaces of Russian Online Fandom
Sudha Rajagopalan
13
Bollywood ITALIA: Blogging Shah Rukh Khan in Italy | Monia Acciari
14
Dollywood: The Pleasures of Playing with Mini Khan | Bernhard Fuchs
15
Shah Rukh Khan – Raj Kapoor Reloaded?
Similarities and Differences of two Reception Contexts | Florian Krauss
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WORKSHOP Song and Dance | October 1st
WORKSHOP Religion and Film | October 2nd
“My Name Is Khan” and “Brand SRK”:
Interrogating the Limits of Bollywood Superstardom | Sreya Mitra
41
The Brand that is Shah Rukh Khan | Omemma Gillani
42
Shah Rukh Khan’s Reinvention of the Muslim Hero in “My Name is Khan” | Jaspreet Gill
43
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham: Reinventing the Ayodhya Kanda of the Ramayana | Arno Krimmer
44
“And I Love Hinduism Also“. Shah Rukh Khan:
A Muslim Voice for Interreligious Peace in India | Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
45
Global Bollywood and the Dance Performances of Shah Rukh Khan | Ann David
17
Dreaming of Shah Rukh Khan? Dancing to a Bollywood Beat in Prague | Sangita Shresthova
18
Dancing Bollywood: Peruvian Youngsters and Shah Rukh Khan | Petra Hirzer
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WORKSHOP Performing Gender (Part 2) | October 2nd
Bollywood Music as Multikulti Scene in a Mixed Diaspora | Silvia Martinez Garcia
20
Performing Femininity through Bollywood Dance in Bavaria | Sandra Chatterjee
46
Lyrics in Main Hoon Na: Shah Rukh Khan and Javed Akhtar | Alaka Chudal
21
Accounting for the Camp Cult Appropriation of Male Film Stars in India | Charlie Henniker
47
Camp, Kitsch and Khan: SRK and the Global Dispersal of Postmodernity | Meheli Sen
48
WORKSHOP Performing Gender (Part 1) | October 1st
SRK, Karan Johar and the creation of ‘Bollywood’: Beyond diasporic boundaries
Kamala Ganesh & Kanchana Mahadevan
22
Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh – Reflections on Masculinities, Movies
and Matrimony from Rampur, India | Shrayana Bhattacharya
Reinventing East Indian Masculinity: Female Shah Rukh Khan Fans in Trinidad
and the Idea of a Globalized ‘Indianness’ | Hanna Klien
PLENARY SESSION 3 |October 2nd
Intermediality and Bollywood Stardom | Amy Villarejo
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23
Shah Rukh Khan, Participatory Audiences, and the Internet | Elke Mader
50
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EXHIBITION
Curator: Mira Lau
SCREENING AND ART PRESENTATION
51
Mr. Khan Vienna Loves You (Documentary) | Mehru Jaffer Hasnain
25
RESEARCH NETWORK MEETING | October 2th
The Light in the Dark (Exhibition) | Anna Mandel
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Euro-Bollywood. Indian Cinema in European Contexts | Rajinder Dudrah, Bernhard Fuchs
52
PLENARY SESSION 2 | October 1st
Biographical Shortnotes
55
Shah Rukh Khan and Hindi Cinematic Melodrama of the Baroque Kind | Anustup Basu
27
Notes
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Shah Rukh Khan: A Journey of Conquering Human Hearts Across Continents | Zawahir Siddique
28
Team
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CONTENT
CONTENT
The Don´s World. Designing the Milieu of SRK | Aradhana Seth
Imprint
WELCOME NOTE
WELCOME NOTE
Welcome from the Organisers
and the Conference Committee
In recent years popular Hindi Cinema – “Bollywood” - has conquered new audiences
all over the world and established itself as highly successful mainstream cinema. The
circulation of Indian Cinema in a globalized world has also become focus of academic
research from a wide range of disciplines and theoretical perspectives. In this line of
international research the conference is dedicated to a variety of topics that embrace
films and audiences as well as diverse cultural practises and performances. Furthermore, the role of Information and Communication Technologies in these processes
has emerged as a new point of interest, in particular in regard to the study of participant audiences and fan cultures. The overarching framework is the relationship of
Bollywood with postcolonialism, global flows, and transcultural processes that shape
cinematic contexts and audience receptions today. Bollywood has changed the
Western view of India: it is almost synonymous with a modern, globalized India and
has arrived in the West not only as a cinematic wave, but also as a lifestyle. Studies on
Hindi Cinema as an intercultural cluster of practices and meanings have also been a
focus of interdisciplinary research as well as teaching at the University of Vienna for
several years.
The conference brings together scholars from various fields of study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to confer about a wide range of topics concerning the
global cultural phenomenon Shah Rukh Khan. Its topics relate to general questions
about stardom as a way to create meaning in a media-centred world. The actor and
his work are discussed in connection with issues of stardom, globalisation, post colonialism, and inter religious relations; in regard to his position in the realm of polymedia production and consumption on the internet; in relation to performing gender
and sexuality, as well as in connection with local cultural performances of Bollywood
music and dance. Furthermore, distinguished representatives of the world of art and
cinema will share their points of view on cultural productions in connection with
Shah Rukh Khan and Global Bollywood.
The organisers and the conference committee promise you many new insights, productive exchange with other scholars and a pleasant stay in Vienna!
The conference in Vienna is unique as it focuses on the significance of Shah Rukh Khan
as the central icon for the new dynamics of global Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan has
the reputation of holding the largest audience in the contemporary world of cinema
comprising people from diverse places and cultural backgrounds. He has special appeal to large parts of the Indian Diaspora as well as to non South Asian audiences,
particularly in Europe. Thus, in recent years Shah Rukh Khan films have developed
into cult media that form the basis of a very active fan culture like in German speaking countries.
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LONDON
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, FILM STUDIES
The Worlds of Shah Rukh Khan
Stars have never been as popular as they are today. Though Hollywood has largely
dominated the world of entertainment, it came as a surprise to the West in the early
2000s, that millions of people were interested in an altogether different kind of cinema – Indian film – and the stars of that cinema had far greater appeal for audiences from diverse religious, social and political worlds than ever imagined. Every decade, India has had its leading actors, but since the mid-nineties it is Shah Rukh Khan
(SRK) who has emerged as India’s most popular star. Aided by the Net and his active
Tweets, his fame continues to intensify and spread. Today his following rivals Beatlemania at its height.
As a documentary director/producer, Nasreen Munni Kabir made two films (The Inner and the Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan), which aimed to observe SRK up-close
during his Temptations, 2004 as it toured the UK, and twelve North American cities,
ending in Toronto, Canada. SRK has defined for his generation (and it seems the next
generation too) – the perfect fantasy of the Indian hero and in real life, he has come
to enjoy a far bigger place in the collective psyche than his screen characters. But
unusually this love works two-way. One of the many striking things about SRK is his
admission of his addiction to stardom: “I’m very clear about loving stardom. I love
people loving me. If I’m not going to be in that situation, I’ll just be with myself. I will
not be able to come out of the four walls of my house and the crowd not screaming. I
don’t think I’ll be able to do that.”
The discussion in this paper will center around what this most charismatic star means
to his fans and the psychology of a man caught in the eye of an adoring storm.
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OPENING LECTURE | SEPTEMBER 30th
NASREEN MUNNI KABIR
ASHISH RAJADHYAKSHA
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT
CSCS (CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN CULTURE AND SOCIETY) BANGALORE
Key note
Unthinking SRK and Global Bollywood: from Film
Studies to Rasa Theory to New Media Assemblages
The rise of the study of Bollywood (contemporary popular Hindi cinema from India)
over the past ten or more years has raised a number of questions for researchers interested in this growing phenomenon. This paper will offer an overview of the recent
academic history of the growth of this field as it has engaged with issues informed
by scholars who have invariably worked with classical Western screen theory and Indian narratives; Indian tropes and cultural theory; and more recently a turn to new
media studies, globalization and assemblages. An assessment of the field will allow
us to possibly answer the following questions towards a critical study of SRK and
Global Bollywood Cinema: What is “Bollywood” as nomenclature and object of study?
How and in what ways has this area been pursued, namely from across work in film,
media and cultural studies? What are the recent and emerging trends in the study
of this cinema that offer further useful research agendas for scholars, practitioners
and students working in film and media studies across local and transnational contexts? How might answers to these questions help us to productively articulate the
relationship/s between SRK and Global Bollywood?
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SENIOR FELLOW
MY NAME IS KHAN AND I’M A STAR
The Making of a Movie Star in 2000s Bollywood
The role and purpose of stardom has changed in the Indian cinema over the decades. Shah Rukh Khan is perhaps India’s leading example of what we might call 21st
century stardom. Given that Khan is primarily a movie star, it is striking to note how
little, comparatively speaking, he depends on the cinema to define himself. Khan is
as much a television star as he is a sports icon, a design clothes horse as much as a
brand ambassador.
Which perhaps makes it an interesting question as to what the role of the cinema
now plays in his persona. And that question, once we have asked it, throws up very
strange answers: specifically if we see Kal Ho Na Ho and My Name is Khan.
Both are in many ways new-gen films that incorporate everything that Khan stands
for as a star, but both films have a curiously orthodox core that the rest of Khan’s persona would be hard pressed to admit to. Both are, almost in a way, political films in
an extraordinarily old fashioned sense of the term. Kal Ho Na Ho argues for individual
autonomy that would have been conventional in the era of Amol Palekar, while My
Name is Khan wraps around its neoliberal sentimentality a startlingly conventional
core.
Once again, Shah Rukh Khan, film star, brings our attention back to 2000s Bollywood
and asks what the cinema, an astonishingly small economy within the larger flash
and glitz of globalized India, is doing in a place like India.
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PLENARY SESSION 1 | SEPTEMBER 30th
PLENARY SESSION 1 | SEPTEMBER 30th
RAJINDER DUDRAH
SUDHA RAJAGOPALAN
UNIVERSITY OF HALMSTAD
FILM STUDIES, PHD CANDIDATE AT HAMBURG UNIVERSITY
LECTURER IN FILM STUDIES AT HALMSTAD UNIVERSITY
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY, MEDIA AND CULTURE STUDIES
RESEARCH AFFILIATE
“Thank you, Shah Rukh Khan!” Reconsidering Audience
Studies: the Reception of Bollywood in Germany
Hyperlinked: Shah Rukh Khan
in the Affective Spaces of Russian Online Fandom
In my paper I suggest that the German reception of Bollywood allows us to complicate common notions prevalent in audience studies. On the one hand it points at the
need for the analysis of specific national audiences (Larkin 2003), on the other hand
it shows that the distinction between Indian and diasporic NRI-audiences is not sufficient. While Bollywood overseas has often been analysed in terms of diasporic marketing (Mishra 2002, Iordanova 2002), studies of the reception of Bollywood focus on
diasporic audiences, on NRIs, on identity and belonging (Gillespie 1995, Cunningham/Sinclair 2001, Mishra 2002). Bollywood in Germany, however, cannot be conceptualised with notions of homeland, nostalgia and belonging, at least not when
it comes to the White German audiences. The German reception also shows that
Straubhaar’s notion of “cultural proximity“ (1991/2007) should be reconsidered.
Therefore, the aim of this paper is twofold: first, to point out the stages of the German reception and second, to complicate the current methodological and theoretical perspective prevalent in audience and reception studies. In order to highlight
the industrial context, it could be useful to examine how physical spaces like cities
shape the reception of cultural products. While the German research most often
foregrounds Bollywood as a mainstream phenomenon centred around the star persona of Shah Rukh Khan, it is important to note that Bollywood in Germany should
be perceived as a cultural practice having entered the mainstream via an art-house
and camp circuit. Presenting a case study of the reception of Bollywood in Hamburg
I will argue that the German example shows how diasporic audiences cannot be homogenized. Therefore, this perspective could de-essentialise notions of migrant and
diasporic audiences, in a tradition outlined by Stuart Hall (1990), Ien Ang (1991), Paul
Gilroy (1993a) and Gayatri Gopinath (2005) and rather focus on communities united
by consent instead of descent.
In contemporary Russia, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) has a devoted following of fans who
call themselves Sharumanki, a portmanteau blending the two words “Shah Rukh” and
“maniaki” (Russian for “fanatics”). This paper, situated in the stream of scholarship on
online fandom, explores the manner in which SRK’s star status is constructed in the
lively fan spaces of the Russian-language internet (Runet) and examines what this reveals about Russian fan identity in the process.
Dispersed geographically, Russian fans meet in online communities, where SRK’s celebrity is very actively sustained and promoted through their practices of downloading, translating and sharing of knowledge and the production of star-related artefacts. Sharumanki post readings of Shah Rukh’s films, showcase their connoisseurship
about Indian cinema and its stars, make pronouncements on how the star has helped
them through personal crises and create Shah Rukh-centred digital art and fan poetry. They not only co-construct SRK’s celebrity but also inscribe their personal/collective selves into the star narrative. In doing so, they perform their own identity as a
distinctive subculture that must alone do the work of sustaining Shah Rukh’s transnational stardom in Russia.
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WORKSHOP RECEPTION AND FANDOM | OCTOBER 1st
WORKSHOP RECEPTION AND FANDOM | OCTOBER 1st
DAGMAR BRUNOW
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
FACULTY OF DRAMA
PHD CANDIDATE
BERNHARD FUCHS
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
EUROPEAN ETHNOLOGY
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Bollywood ITALIA: Blogging Shah Rukh Khan in Italy
Dollywood: The Pleasures of Playing with Mini Khan
This paper intends to carry forward the study on the impact of Bollywood in Italy. My
PhD project at the University of Manchester explored the cultural and aesthetic implications of the relationship between Italy and India on and off the screens of Italy
following the 90s boom of Bollywood in Europe. My previous study charted two specific areas of dissemination: social and through the media, specifically television and
cinema partially neglecting new media, “on-line” communities, cybersociety and online cultural formation as associated to fandom.
Italy experienced its own (re)discovery of Bollywood through an interrogation on
the cultural factors which were “delivering” the Indian cinematographic industry in
the rest of Europe. Albeit remaining outside the “maniac” circuits of imitation and reproduction, Italy began contemplating both mutual cultural exchanges of the past
and historical similarities, uncovering dynamics for the two countries to communicate and establish a “zone of aesthetic contact”. Terms such as Bollywood, India and
its cultural-aesthetic paraphernalia have been embodied in Kabir Bedi and his Sandokan since the 1970s and essentialised as exotic stereotypes within a common cultural memory. After 40 years, Sandokan has left the scenes to the new ‘hero’ of global
Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan who, by populating fan blogs continuously presents the
idea of postcolonial globalised India. My attention will be devoted specifically to the
blog Bollywood ITALIA a “remarkable artefact of the web” in Italy. Bollywood ITALIA
brings about new perspectives on Shah Rukh Khan as new gateway of Bollywood
abroad. The question that this paper aims to answer is: does Shah Rukh Khan become
part of new global semiotic productivities and narrativities through the space of Bollywood ITALIA?
Merchandising products (besides marketing of film music) are almost absent from
the Indian film industry – there have been only few attempts to link movies with the
toy industry. In 2006 a glamorous launch of a “Bollywood legends” doll series took
place in Harrods in London and the Marriot Hotel in Mumbai. The dolls represent
Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, and Shah Rukh Khan. The concept has been
developed by UK based entrepreneur Shameen Jivraj. This product is distributed
for a global market and targeted towards all age groups and intended to be a toy
for children and a collector’s item for adults. Although the economic success of this
series was rather limited it became an important feature of Bollywood fan culture.
The dolls’ reception by children remains invisible for media ethnography. On the
other hand adult Shah Rukh Khan Fans present their practices in Cyberspace. The
paper analyses this field of cultural creativity in the intersection of Material-, Visual-,
and Cyber-Culture, the innovative combination of entertainment industries, cinema
and doll-art: “Dollywood” (a poetic term created in this milieu). As the haptic aspect
of merchandise is lacking in Indian cinema culture active audiences in the West use
this medium for signifying practices. Playing with the star-doll became a unique feature of Shah Rukh Khan fan cultures: A “Mini Khan” is sent around the world, strengthening international networks by travelling from one fan to the other. Creative fans
tailor clothes, re-enact scenes, make photos, describe and discuss their work in online texts. Such activities combine intensification of internal communication with the
hope of gaining recognition by Shah Rukh Khan himself. The star becomes accessible
via the doll. Even the imagination (or rather illusion) of controlling the star is made
possible by this artefact.
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WORKSHOP RECEPTION AND FANDOM | OCTOBER 1st
WORKSHOP RECEPTION AND FANDOM | OCTOBER 1st
MONIA ACCIARI
ANN R. DAVID
FILM & TELEVISION ACADEMY POTSDAM-BABELSBERG
FILM STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
ROEHAMPTON UNIVERSITY LONDON
DANCE STUDIES
PRINCIPAL LECTURER
Shah Rukh Khan – Raj Kapoor reloaded?
Similarities and Differences of two Reception Contexts
Global Bollywood
and the dance performances of Shah Rukh Khan
My paper aims at broadening the perspective on Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood in
Germany by looking at the former circulation of Hindi films in Western and Eastern
Germany in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I argue that there are important links between that context to today’s reception.
It is widely unknown that Hindi films have been shown in German cinemas long before the era of “King Khan”. Awara (1951) was screened in the GDR as Der Vagabund
and in Western Germany under the title Awara – Der Vagabund von Bombay. Besides,
at least in the GDR some more Hindi classics have been distributed officially: Shree
420 (1955) as Der Prinz von Piplinagar, Jagte Raho (1956) as Unter dem Mantel der
Nacht and Do Bigha Zamin Shambhu (1953) as Shambhu.
By analysing newspaper articles from the late 1950s and early 1960s I elaborate on
parallels towards recent perspectives on Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan. The reviews
and the film selection indicate that Raj Kapoor has been of particular importance.
Correspondingly, the German media mostly focuses on one particular star –
Shah Rukh Khan – when it comes to Indian cinema nowadays. The articles from the
1950s and 1960s particularly deal with one film – the global blockbuster Awara. There
is a parallel to today´s media reception of Indian cinema: Very few Shah Rukh Khan
films have dominated the Bollywood circulation in Germany since the early 2000s
and functioned as prototypes.
Similar to the contemporary “Bollywood discourse” reviews on Awara give the impression that India cinema is less sophisticated than its Western counterparts and
less “realistic”. But the GDR press partly appraised a “critical realism”, too. Some articles
interpret Awara or even more general Indian cinema in a “socialist” way. Such readings were obviously linked with the historical and political context but maybe also
with the star persona shaping the idea of Indian cinema at that time: Raj Kapoor. He
plays the poor “little man” in various films and may have encouraged another view on
Indian cinema than Shah Rukh Khan and his rich “Raj and Rahuls”.
This paper examines the construction of global culture and the wide-ranging appeal
of film stars such as Shah Rukh Khan through a selection of the Bollywood films of the
1990s and the new millennium. Using an analysis of Khan’s appearance in the dance
sequences in Dil Se (1998), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Asoka (2001) and Om Shanti
Om (2007), I question how the Bollywood dancing body is constructed and how appeal and desire are managed and controlled for global consumption. Drawing on
ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Bollywood dance classes, I analyse the effect
of Khan’s performances on both male and female audiences and dancers and seek to
draw some conclusions about the mixed discourses at play in his films as well as the
potential ability to cross prescribed and perceived boundaries. How is the diasporic imagination fed through his films? Is there a “double” exoticism at play here? The
paper attempts to unpick the “local negotiations of historically shifting relations of
image production and consumption” in the complex context of Bollywood film and
Khan’s performances and asks whether he is now perceived as the personification of
Bollywood itself.
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WORKSHOP SONG AND DANCE | OCTOBER 1ST
WORKSHOP RECEPTION AND FANDOM | OCTOBER 1st
FLORIAN KRAUSS
PETRA HIRZER
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND PRAG
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
FILMMAKER, CHOREOGRAPHER, DANCER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
PHD CANDIDATE
Dreaming of Shah Rukh Khan?
Dancing to a Bollywood Beat in Prague
Dancing Bollywood:
Peruvian Youngsters and Shah Rukh Khan
Today, Bollywood dance, a colloquial term used to describe choreography inspired
by song-and-dance sequences in Hindi films, is fast becoming a global phenomenon
in urban centers from Los Angeles, Mumbai, Kathmandu, London, to Prague. Driven
by enthusiasm expressed by Indian and non-Indian audiences to experience choreography contained in Hindi films, Bollywood dance has now emerged as a popular,
lucrative, and recognized movement category. In Mumbai, the globally savvy film
industry increasingly caters to diasporic tastes in hopes of capturing much coveted
overseas markets. In the United States, staged interpretations of Bollywood film song
and dance sequences dominate annual cultural shows organized by South Asian
associations on college campuses. In the United Kingdom, Bollywood dance now
competes with Indian classical in representing an imagined India to the broader public. Recently, Bollywood dance also emerged as a recognized movement category in
the Czech Republic, where these dance classes are generally taught by teachers only
marginally connected to the Hindi film dance industry.
This growing popularity of Bollywood dance in a country with a relatively small
South Asian diasporic population and negligible Hindi film distribution structures
raises many questions. Does Bollywood dance in performance in the Czech Republic express a new found multicultural post-communist tolerance of diversity? Does
it provide continuity to Hindi film distribution structures in Eastern Europe that predate current globalization efforts? Or are we witnessing a renewed Orientalized performance of exotic fantasies? In this presentation, the dances performed at the amateur Bollywood dance competition organized by the Prague Bollywood Festival in
2010 become an entry point into examining Bollywood dance in the Czech Republic.
Drawing on comparative analyses of Bollywood dance around the world, I approach
live Bollywood dances as sites of remediated and performed Hindi film reception that
challenge conventional understandings of production and consumption, reality and
fantasy, embodiment and migration.
Bollywood’s great popularity is not limited to India or the Indian diaspora. As a global
phenomenon of media reception Bollywood literally has no borders. In Peru diversified fan cultures in connection with Indian Popular Cinema comprise several levels of
social practices and raise a lot of questions in regard to globalization, media studies
and gender issues. How does the audience identify with topics, characters and meanings presented in Hindi-Films? Is Shah Rukh Khan, sometimes described as a modern
god of India, the key-component within this framework of transcultural reception of
Indian Cinema?
The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork in Peru and lays special emphases on
the analysis of local Bollywood fan-communities. On the one hand, it will discuss the
perception of Shah Rukh Khan and the content of respective movies. On the other
hand, it will describe the performative dimension of fan culture, in particular “Bollywood-Dancing” that has become a global phenomenon in itself. In Peru, members
of local fan-communities frequently meet to dance to the beat of Hindi-Films. Their
choreographies are inspired by the song-and-dance sequences in the movies but
also incorporate Latin American dances like Salsa or Cumbia. The paper will discuss
the practice of dancing Bollywood in Peru as a localized global phenomenon and
thereby focus on processes of acquisition, adaptation, and hybridity.
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WORKSHOP SONG AND DANCE | OCTOBER 1ST
WORKSHOP SONG AND DANCE | OCTOBER 1ST
SANGITA SHRESTHOVA
ALAKA CHUDAL
ESMUC BARCELONA
MUSICOLOGY DEPARTMENT
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH ASIAN, TIBET & BUDDHISM STUDIES
Bollywood Music
as Multikulti Scene in a Mixed Diaspora
Lyrics in “Main Hoon Na”:
Shah Rukh Khan and Javed Akhtar
Countries that are not traditional destinations for immigrants allow new diasporas to develop their own cultural practices in a relative flexible way. Less visibility as
immigrant community could mean less hostility from the host society and fewer
pre-established clichés. This situation gives new citizens the opportunity to manage
alternative strategies to negotiate their integration.
Starting from these assumptions and looking at the Bollywood scene in Spain, my
paper is focused on: 1) the way in which musical practices provide situations to negotiate concepts like “modern”, “traditional”, “own”, “authentic”, etc.; 2) how this practices became for young Pakistanis an alternative way to display ethnicity and build
their public image; and 3) the raising multikulti scene built around Bollywood dance
classes, parties and performances. Just a few years ago, Barcelona was included in a
Shah Rukh Khan’s Tour and, at the same time, an informal and particular market has
been growing and disseminating through neighbourhoods with a clear majority of
immigrant population coming from Asia. A discreet distribution net of video-clips,
films and music nests in telephone calling centres, food stores, hairdressing salons,
and all kind of stores managed by and oriented to migrants. Since that, Bollywood
provides both local bands and public a succesfull dance music sometimes performed
as an alternative sound to the cliché exploited by the World Music industry. My
research tries to explain how Bollywood offers them catchy rhythms and sophisticated productions aimed at the body and touched by an exotic Orientalism and a
certain sense of global modernity.
Main Hoon Na (2004) starts and ends with two dramatic action sequences, but the
heart of it is pure, complete and cheerful Bollywood entertainment. Director Farah
Khan pays careful attention to all the details – comedy, action, melodrama, costumes,
songs (with Javed Akhtar’s lyrics and Anu Malik’s music), and the playful choreography with Shah Rukh Khan at the centre. Despite the highly political background story
(Indo-Pakistani hostilities, peace negotiations, terrorist attacks etc.) the songs continue to be popular for their seemingly apolitical lyrics: for example the opening song,
with the entire college cast out dancing, the title song Maĩ hū nā, Shah Rukh Khan
with Susmita Sen in Tumhẽ Jo Maine Dekhā, the party song Gorī Gorī and finally the
qawwālī (Sufi devotional tune) Tumse Milke Dil Kā Jo Hāl, as a pop song in plastic
look. This paper will analyze the different poetic dimensions of the song lyrics in the
film, and highlight the role of Javed Akhtar as a major voice of SRK.
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WORKSHOP SONG AND DANCE | OCTOBER 1ST
WORKSHOP SONG AND DANCE | OCTOBER 1ST
SILVIA MARTINEZ GARCIA
KANCHANA MAHADEVAN
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
PROFESSOR
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
READER
SHRAYANA BHATTACHARYA
SRK, Karan Johar and the Creation of “Bollywood” –
Beyond Diasporic Boundaries
Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh –
Reflections on Masculinities, Movies
and Matrimony from Rampur, India
The emergence of the term “Bollywood” to denote the Hindi film industry has loosely
coincided with a transformation of its iconic vocabulary from an emphasis on the
macho, violent and angry young man to a more soft and meterosexual hero operating amidst the emotional landscape of romantic and family relationships. This
change has also marked the “crossover” moment when Bollywood films have gone
global, with serious competition being given to viewers in India by diasporic as well
as non-Indian audiences abroad.
If the roles and persona of SRK are the symbols of this transformatory moment,
then Karan Johar best exemplifies the producer and director who has enabled it. Johar has become known for exploring the Indian family through a technically skilled
treatment, with the conventional accoutrements of Bollywood glamour in terms of
song, dance, costume, location, etc. while simultaneously interrogating the “givens”
of traditional Indian “family values”. Thus via a conventional glossy surface, he has
conveyed what are in the Indian context startling and radical interpretations. He has
softened and sugar coated his messages through the medium of SRK’s persona, his
charisma and his popularity. Karan Johar and SRK – the glossy radical and the quintessential meterosexual – share a strong professional and personal bond even though
each has worked with others.
The paper explores the dynamics and synergy of their work together and its significance in the creation of global Bollywood.
It is the attempt of this paper to explore the idealised notions of masculinity embedded in male iconography, seen through the eyes of poor female home based embroidery workers in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. Conversations suggest that the creation
of the notional ideal male relies heavily on Indian film and Shah Rukh Khan appears
as a constant benchmark by which masculinity is defined by the single and married
women interviewed. Paid work allows these women the space, social networks and
financial resources to access their favourite movie star and their preferred form of entertainment – a new phenomenon viewed with suspicion by elders and male members of the community. The paper shall highlight how such interaction with film icons
through greater dispersion of communication technologies results in women making
consistent attempts to incorporate expectations and understanding of “maleness/
mardangi” in their fathers, brothers and husbands; and explores why SRK emerges as
an ideal male for the community of women interviewed.
During field work conducted between August 2006 and September 2007 in Rampur
for a project associated with social protection for home based workers, initiated by
UNIFEM, SEWA and ISST in Uttar Pradesh, 22 semi structured interviews with women
engaged in appliqué work and a district survey of 175 households provide further
insights into women’s conception of the masculine and the role Indian film stars such
as Shah Rukh Khan play in the creation and vocalisation of these concepts and expectations within lived experiences of community and marital relations.
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WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 1) | OCTOBER 1st
WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 1) | OCTOBER 1st
KAMALA GANESH
MEHRU JAFFER HASNAIN
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA,
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
PHD CANDIDATE
WRITER, LECTURER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, WEBSTER UNIVERSITY
Reinventing East Indian Masculinity:
Female Shah Rukh Khan Fans in Trinidad
and the Idea of a Globalized “Indianness”
This paper is based on a reception study of Hindi films in Trinidad and focuses on the
role Shah Rukh Khan plays in the renegotiation of female identities in the younger
generations of the Indo-Trinidadian community. The actor is often seen as “mediating signifier”, bridging the local and the global as well as diaspora and homeland in
the context of NRI and Indian audiences. As Hindi films have always been a primary
identity marker of East Indians (a term used to differentiate between Trinidadians of
Indian ancestry and others) in Trinidad and were used to imagine the ‘homeland’, it is
not surprising that the younger generation draws on the big star of contemporary Indian film as a symbol of a globalized and modern “Indianness’” It is especially young
women who use the star image as well as contemporary Hindi film in general, to renegotiate existing gendered identities.
To understand the new notions of East Indian masculinity constructed by female audiences in Trinidad, it is important to give an overview of the existing male gender
roles. It is mainly in opposition to male stereotypes such as the wife-beating alcoholic,
the penny-pinching businessman or the idle Chutney singer that young women
form ideas of what they desire in a man. Mostly, the evolving ideal corresponds with
the urge to be liberated from patriarchal repression. However, this does not mean
embracing Western ideas of femininity, feminism and emancipation. The female
identities these women seek to establish clearly mark their East Indian origin, when
long nourished images of “Indian” traditions are applied and at the same time consolidated with values of a consumption oriented, global culture. Consequently, ideas
and images of marriage, love, family life and sexuality allow valid conclusions as to
what this new “Indianness” might be.
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Mr. Khan Vienna Loves You (Documentary)
Date of Completion: July, 2010
Language: English, German and Hindi (with English subtitles)
Duration: 45 minutes
In 2005 after RTL II, a German television channel, aired the first Bollywood film starring Shah Rukh Khan it opened a whole new world to viewers in central Europe. Many
found the sights and sound of India incredible on screen but for others it was love at
first sight with Shah Rukh Khan, Mumbai’s biggest matinee idol.
Mr. Khan Vienna Loves You is an intimate journey into the home and heart of those in
love with Shah Rukh Khan in the Austrian capital. This independent documentary brings
Shah Rukh Khan fans also known as Shah Rukhis under one roof to talk about their respective fascination with the Indian actor. They come from diverse walks of life but are
united in admiration for their favourite Bollywood movie star from another continent
and culture. Similar to fans of a football team or of a rock star, Shah Rukhis are showcased laying the foundation of a thriving subculture in the very heart of Europe.
Mr. Khan Vienna Loves You gives insight into a world of love created by Shah Rukhis for
themselves. The documentary is an invitation by some fans into their apartment that
are converted into museums, displaying memorabilia collected over half a decade.
Travel with Shah Rukhis across continents in the hope of a hug from Shah Rukh Khan
and a photograph with him. Party with Shah Rukhis, listen to them emote of the time
when Shah Rukh Khan spent three days in Vienna during the 2008 world cup football
tournament and participate in discussions about the academic research in progress
on Shah Rukh Khan at the University of Vienna.
This is the story of dozens of fans of Shah Rukh Khan. More importantly the documentary is about love for a movie star who fills the life of his fans with the colourful
culture of India.
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SCREENING AND ART PRESENTATION | OCTOBER 1ST
WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 1) | OCTOBER 1st
HANNA KLIEN
GERMAN SCULPTRESS AND PAINTER
The Light in the Dark
Before I knew anything about Hindi cinema my paintings were movement turned
into colour, floating colour, depth and light, like my sculptures are movement turned
into form.
Then I found a different kind of light:
I saw “Veer Zaara” and my world changed. From then on in my paintings fragments
of some stories emerge amidst the colours. For some beholders the stories are readable, for others not.
Painting on canvas or beech wood I try to transfer something told in the medium of
light and movement into the solid medium of paints.
Not only to keep the displayed emotions, but to let them become one’s own.
The presentation will talk about the evocation of emotions, the colours of voices,
about movement and its transformation into light.
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ANUSTUP BASU
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH: ENGLISH AND CINEMA STUDIES
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Shah Rukh Khan and Hindi Cinematic Melodrama
of the Baroque Kind
This paper theorizes the Shah Rukh Khan phenomenon of the early nineties as “baroque” entity that transformed certain melodramatic structures of the post-independence classical Hindi film. I am proposing “baroque” here in the Benjaminian
sense, as expression of unremitted desire. In early signature films like Baazigar/The
Player (Abbas Mastaan, 1992) and Darr/Fear (Yash Chopra, 1992) the Khan persona
was a schizophrenic rewriting of the conventional Hindi cinema hero that went with
the irreverent winds of globalisation. The charisma and allure of Khan thus lay in its
harboring and schizoid display of desires (for women, for money) that could not be
named in an erstwhile patriarchal order defined, from competing directions, by a
parsimonious Gandhian anti-modern agrarianism and a “protected” Nehruvian industrial socialism. The spectacle generated by the cinematic assembling of the faithful
wife, the psychotic villain, and a mise-en-scene of transnational consumerism, tourism and lifestyle in Darr therefore remains an obstinate expression of unremitted desire. That is, a perverse, but much more “enticing” spectacle of consuming the female
in the high tides of globalisation. This body of affects can neither be mitigated nor
absolved by a formal coming together of the subject, unity, and law when the villain receives his terminal punishment. They leave a powerful residue in death, potent
enough to blast the continuums of the very protectionist totalities (the welfare state,
the feudal joint family) that kill the charismatic wrong doer. The obsession in Darr is
that forbidden delirium that precedes the arrival of a planetary neo-liberal order. It is
a stylized, hyperbolic presentation of a new credo of individualism that had already
made its historical entry in an opened out India. Khan’s orphan persona’s psychosis is
an ensemble of male desires for money, recognition, goods, women, and power that
are retailed and yet to be named. He is fascinating precisely because between the
stammer in Khan’s acting and the dying smile of the maniacal stalker, he has already
announced the irresistible arrival of a community of sons that are demanding a new
covenant from the fathers of old: the Nehruvian state, as well as the agrarian feudal
class. In doing so, it demands a new sacred name for what was the profane.
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PLENARY SESSION 2 | OCTOBER 1ST
SCREENING AND ART PRESENTATION | OCTOBER 1ST
ANNA MANDEL
ARADHANA SETH
MS RAMAIAH INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT, BANGALORE
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
VIENNA
PRODUCTION DESIGNER, ART DIRECTOR, FILMMAKER
Shah Rukh Khan: A Journey of Conquering
Human Hearts Across Continents
The Don’s World:
Designing the Milieu of Shah Rukh Khan
The glory Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) has achieved in over two decades is a mystery that
his critics and fans find difficult to explain. With a single minded determination he
has achieved one victory across continents: conquest of human hearts.
This paper attempts to explore different layers of SRK’s enigmatic personality.
As a middle class Indian Muslim, SRK followed the path of Dara Shikoh, believing
in cultural synthesis. He married a Hindu and encouraged his children to learn the
message of Bhagwat Gita, Quran and Bible. His clean personal life only added to the
glamour of his stardom.
As a successful businessman, his business acumen and people management skills are
essential lessons for any business school worldwide.
As a producer, his uncompromising commitment to portray himself as a creative producer and not a commercial producer attributes to his success in making movies like
Asoka and Phir Bhi Dil He Hindustani embedded with powerful social messages despite commercial setbacks.
As an actor, SRK dared to redefine the landscape of acting lessons. His success came
from connecting to his audience and the camera was only a mere medium in his mission. It is not a coincidence that he is known to be the “powerhouse of energy” in the
industry. He used his energy, emotional connectivity, and mesmerizing voice as three
indispensible ingredients of his acting skills. His fans are not concerned about conventional acting skills as long as they feel he can connect and energize.
As the Brand Icon of India, SRK has also managed to connect with the masses
through his favorite medium: television. Daniel Goleman’s ground breaking book on
emotional intelligence creating waves in the 1990s coincided with the journey of a
successful icon whose emotional intelligence is unparalleled.
Production Design is the art of envisioning and manifesting the context in which
characters come to life on the silver screen. Expected to simultaneously build the
persona, the style, and the characters that inhabit the design, as well as literally fade
into the background so that the story, action and stars can occupy the foreground,
Production Design is an art that has morphed over time in Indian Cinema.
Using the marker of the film Don, first produced in the 1970s with India’s then superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, and then remade post-2000 with India’s current reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan, we will explore the changes in stage architecture from Don
(1978) to Don (2006).
The presentation is centered on the creation of the world that surrounds
Shah Rukh Khan’s contemporary Don. The creation of his headquarters, his home and
the design choices that inhabit his world will be discussed, as will the choices made
to contrast the good, working class Vijay character, and a discerning Don, as conversant with the value of stolen world art as he is with guns.
Of particular interest is the interplay between Shah Rukh Khan’s global superstar image and the design of the Don character in the 2006 film which presents a globalized, slickly produced 21st century India. Don of the 1970s tacks between the streets
of Churchgate and the Filmistan sets of Bombay, generating a character rooted in the
visual life of the city. The present-day Don exhibits an ease in moving between the
Champs Elysees in Paris, the Cable Car in Lagkawi, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, as well as returning to the streets of Mumbai, and singing on the sets of Film
City. The film in a sense becomes a microcosm of global Bollywood and the increasingly far flung reaches of Shah Rukh Khan’s cosmopolitan, globe-trotting existence
and popularity.
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PLENARY SESSION 2 | OCTOBER 1ST
PLENARY SESSION 2 | OCTOBER 1ST
ZAWAHIR SIDDIQUE
ROBERT RINTOULL
VIENNA
DIRECTOR
COPENHAGEN UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, GERMAN AND ROMANCE LANGUAGES
PHD CANDIDATE
Kesariya Balam – Love Knows no Limits
(2010, Austria/India)
Shah Rukh Khan and his Leading Ladies:
Star Images and Globalisation
Billed as the first Austrian Bollywood film, this is Vienna Bollywood-style, reflecting
the opulence and splendour of the city, and its kitsch. Indian born Director Sandeep
Kumar has done a Raj Kapoor of sorts by being producer, director and lead actor of
a film titled “Kesariya Balam”. The storyline of “Kesariya Balam” is also of typical Bollywood style with separation and reincarnation added as twists. The movie has crossreferences to Shah Rukh Khan and films like Om Shanti Om, Aaja Nachale, Dhoom etc.
The filmmaker also happens to be Shah Rukh Khan’s schoolmate.
This is Sandeep Kumar’s first feature film, but he has won several awards for short
films made by him in the past. This feature film is getting rave reviews in Austria and
the Austrian newspaper headlines term the film as “Indian Magic in Vienna” and “Love
Without Borders”. This acceptance for Bollywood movies seems to be the trend in
Austria which will just continue to grow in the future.
Kesariya Balam is a non-commercial venture dedicated to increase awareness of Bollywood style films in German speaking Europe.
This paper will focus on globalisation and SRK’s star image, viewed predominantly
through the eyes of his leading heroines: Kajol, Ashwairya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, Preity
Zinta and Rani Mukherjee, in films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Devdas, Kabhi Alvida
Naa Kehna, Veer Zaara and Khabie Khushi Khabie Gham. In this paper, I will discuss
how the role of the traditional Indian woman both affirms SRK’s super-star status, and
helps to act as an acceptable transformative bridge for transcultural processes within the strict demarcations of Hindu and Moslem socio-religious traditions. Through
relevant examples from the aforementioned films, I will argue that without the star
presence of these extraordinarily talented women, and their ability to translate modernity and tradition for both an Indian (home) audience and an overseas diaspora
audience, SRK’s ability to cross East/West global barriers would be far less effective.
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WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
SCREENING | OCTOBER 1ST
SANDEEP KUMAR
PRIYADARSHINI SHANKER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF CINEMA STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
My Own Private Shah Rukh Khan: Chasing an Image
Star Gazing via Documentary: Shah Rukh Khan’s
Stardom in The Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan
Bombay films do not just reflect, but also engage self-confidently in the public
discourse about a star´s image/text. By the predominantly narrative reading of
Om Shanti Om (2007, dir. Farah Khan) and Billu Barber (2009, dir. Priyadarshan) –
Shah Rukh Khan starring in both films – I try to examine the elements within these
films that constitute in particular Shah Rukh Khan´s image construction, star text negotiation, respectively.
In regards to star text construction the two aforementioned films are particularly interesting, because both films pick this topic – though in different ways – plot-wise
up. Intertextuality and self-referentiality being prominent features of Bombay films
in general, in these films they are deployed in a distinguished way to reinforce
Shah Rukh Khan´s star text. By approximating the structured polysemy in the sense
of Richard Dwyer of his image and by taking a closer look at how these two films approach and present the star text, I will show the range of possibilities that films themselves have to construct such a star text, thus the means of films themselves to highlight the star text. The focus is hereby to provide an insight into the relation of the
formal presentation of the star text in the film to the star text in the diegesis of the
film. This focus will be additionally, but just broadly, informed by reception research
on Bombay film audience and meta-fictional communication, e.g. discussions in fan
magazines, reviews etc., which shape the construction process of a star text as well.
Furthermore, by suggesting that the star text is a main “arena“ in which filmic and
non-filmic/diegetic and non-diegetic elements condense, I argue that it is here that
they reach the potential to become evident and readable. Given the line of inquiry,
Richard Dyer´s seminal work will be used as the point of departure to stimulate questions of Bombay films mediation of the star text.
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In closely examining the second part of the documentary film The Inner/Outer
World of Shah Rukh Khan (Nasreen Munni Kabir, 2005), namely The Outer World of
Shah Rukh Khan, this paper proposes to demonstrate how the documentary film can
serve as a meaningful and contradictory though somewhat paradoxical cultural text
for the construction of the star image. The documentary film (beyond the obvious list
of media texts that participate in the subsidiary forms of star circulation) is a much
ignored and under-studied text within star studies and this paper aspires to make a
modest intervention in this regard.
The paper attempts to ask how does the documentary film The Outer World of
Shah Rukh Khan inflect Shah Rukh Khan’s stardom? Briefly taking into account the
terms of the analysis, star and stardom, in the field of cinema studies, the paper primarily argues that the dynamism of Kabir’s film lies in attempting to articulate the instability and the contradictions inherent in the star image of Shah Rukh Khan through
showcasing the “on-stage” and “off-stage” schism amidst the chaos of a public-performance, the stage show.
The paper further argues that in doing so the documentary while recognizing the
duality of the star image, as sustained by a public-private contrast, also reverses it.
More broadly, I ask what do we gain by including the discussion of the documentary
within the range of cultural and media texts that we already acknowledge as valid
tools for analysis of the star image within star studies? Further, does the introduction of the documentary form within star studies enable us to complicate the terms
of the debate around stars and stardom? Finally the paper examines the paradox of
the documentary under discussion. With the involvement of “Hyphen Films”, “Channel 4”, “Red Chillies Entertainment” and “Eros International” the film itself covertly participates in the creation and the circulation of the star image that it intends to deconstruct thus serving as an attendant star text to be consumed by the Bollywood
enthusiast at home and abroad.
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WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
ARYA AMIR
SUNERA THOBANI
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH & SOUTH EAST ASIANSTUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Outing the King:
Global Bollywood and its Muslim Closet
At Home in the World? Shah Rukh Khan
and the Politics of Trans-/National Belonging
This paper proposes that the very significant film, My Name is Khan (Dir: Karan Johar, 2010), a star vehicle for Shah Rukh Khan, although narratively based mostly in
the USA, has to be understood and theorized within and around the framework of
Shah Rukh Khan’s star narrative and the determining context of the Indian political
scene along with that in the USA; global Bollywood emerging from Urdu-Hindi film
industry, and its transnational circuits of production, distribution, and consumption;
and the global flow of these circuits of desire. Even prior to the Indian Partition in
1947, most Muslim artists had what Sa’adat Hasan Manto (1912–1955) mockingly
called “shuddified” or Hinduized names – Dilip Kumar for Yusuf Khan, Madhubala
for Mumtaz Begum Jahan Dehlavi (1933–1969), Meena Kumari for Mahjabeen Bano
(1932–1972) etc. At the contemporary moment, the biggest stars of the Urdu-Hindi film industry in India are Khans: Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir, Saif Ali et al. It might
therefore be tempting to conclude that there is indeed a level playing field. The kerfuffle around the film My Name is Khan however, provides ample evidence that the
playing field is far from level: the “Muslim name” carries a bonus – a fetishistic attraction – as well as an onus, and the two are intimately intertwined.
In the era of permanent war, of declared and undeclared wars, on people, practices,
faith tradition, and languages, My Name is Khan, with all its transnational baggage,
manages to depict with some sincerity, those deemed dispensable, less grievable,
more precarious, inherently threatening; those whose racialization is produced and
naturalized through the ethics (or lack thereof ) of war.
In 1997, India celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its independence from British rule.
Subhash Ghai’s Pardes, a patriotic film featuring the hugely successful song, “I love
My India”, was released in concurrence with the national(ist) celebrations held around
the country. An instant hit in India, the film was also very successful abroad, especially in the US. One year later, Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se, a critique of the violence that
underpins the Indian nation-state, was released. This film failed to do well in India,
but received critical acclaim abroad and became the first Indian film to appear in the
top 10 box office charts in the UK. Shah Rukh Khan, the reigning Bollywood superstar,
starred in both films.
This paper examines what Pardes and Dil Se reveal about the fraught politics of nation, gender, transnationalism and diaspora in a globalizing world. Beginning with
a contextualization of the two films in their postcolonial location, the paper follows
with an examination of the films’ markers of national belonging; representation of
the ideal of “Indian” manliness in national and transnational spaces; and identification
of particular forms of violence as corrupting of “Indian” values. The paper ends with a
discussion of the convergences and divergences in the two films’ constructions of the
heroic Indian male and the respectable Indian woman. Given that Shah Rukh Khan,
the “Indian” hero of both films, is a Muslim, and is read as such by many of his audiences, the paper pays particular attention to the complex relation of the Muslim subject to the postcolonial Indian nation-state.
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WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
HUMA DAR
WORKSHOP STARDOM AND GLOBALISATION | OCTOBER 2nd
Programme Overview
GYÖRGYI VAJDOVICH
LORÁND UNIVERSITY (ELTE) – BUDAPEST
DEPARTMENT OF FILM STUDIES
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Opening September 30th
OPENING: MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY, HOFBURG (September 30th) 14.00–17.00
Shah Rukh Khan’s Pioneer Role in Introducing
New Production, Distribution and Marketing Techniques
in Globalised Bollywood
Message of The President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer
Since the end of the 1990s Bollywood film production, distribution and marketing
techniques have changed considerably. These changes are largely due to the “corporatisation” of Bollywood film industry, which demands well-organised, transparent
film production and makes Indian companies capable of operating in the international market and taking part in co-productions with Western companies. New distribution techniques have changed the financing strategies, as until the 1990s almost
80% of the incomes of Bollywood films came from ticket sales inside India; nowadays
that has been reduced to less than 30%. This is due to the increasing share of the
incomes of the overseas market, and to new ways of distribution (like DVDs, cable
channels, satellite channels, internet etc.).
Shah Rukh Khan has always had a pivotal role in this process as the most popular Bollywood actor in the West, but his significance does not reside only in his star personality. He has always been open to new techniques and technologies, and was often
the first to experiment with Western techniques of production, distribution and marketing; first with Dreamz Unlimited, then with Red Chillies Entertainment and nowadays with his other companies acting in different fields of the entertainment industry. This includes new ways of financing films, the introduction of new technologies
(like the adaptation of digital film making, or new ways of exploiting special effects),
the conquest of new markets with the help of new types of marketing, and a new
way of distribution with a radically growing number of prints concentrating on multiplexes and overseas markets. His role inside the Indian entertainment industry is very
important because his new strategies serve as an example for other companies and
very often launch new tendencies that have a considerable role in the globalisation
process of Bollywood.
Elke Mader, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, University of Vienna
His Excellency Dinkar Khullar, Ambassador of India to Austria
Arthur Mettinger, Vicerector of the University of Vienna
Barbara Plankensteiner, Museum of Ethnology
Dance Performance: Lisa Lengheimer, Christina Schollenbruch
Opening Lecture: Nasreen Munni Kabir – The Worlds of Shah Rukh Khan
Reception
18:00–20:00 | Hall I, Universitätsstr. 7, Ground Floor
PLENARY SESSION 1|Convenor: Martin Gaenszle
Key note: Unthinking SRK and Global Bollywood:
from Film Studies to Rasa Theory to New Media Assemblages
Rajinder Dudrah
My Name is Khan and I’m a Star. The making of a movie star in 2000s Bollywood
Ashish Rajadhyaksha
EXHIBITION and VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
SHAH RUKH KHAN & FANS
September 30th–October 2nd, 9:30–18:00, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor, Videos in Room D
Addresses:
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 4th floor, 1010 Wien
Museum für Völkerkunde
Museum of Ethnology
Neue Burg, 1010 Wien
www.univie.ac.at/srk2010
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October 1st
09:30–13:00
Room A, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
WORKSHOP Reception and Fandom
October 2nd
09:30–13:00
Room B, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
09:30–13:00
Room A, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
09:30–13:00
Room B, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
Convenor: Elke Mader
Convenor: Mehru Jaffer Hasnain
WORKSHOP Song and Dance
WORKSHOP Stardom and Globalisation
Convenor: Rosie Thomas
Convenor: Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
“Thank you, Shah Rukh Khan!” Reconsidering Audience
Studies: the Reception of Bollywood in Germany
Dagmar Brunow
Global Bollywood and the Dance Performances
of Shah Rukh Khan | Ann David
Shah Rukh Khan and his Leading Ladies: Star Images and
Globalisation | Robert Rintoull
“My Name Is Khan” and “Brand SRK”: Interrogating the
Limits of Bollywood Superstardom | Sreya Mitra
Dreaming of Shah Rukh Khan? Dancing to a Bollywood Beat
in Prague | Sangita Shresthova
My Own Private Shah Rukh Khan: Chasing an Image | Arya Amir
The Brand that is Shah Rukh Khan
Omemma Gilliani
Hyperlinked: Shah Rukh Khan in the Affective Spaces of
Russian Online Fandom | Sudha Rajagopalan
Bollywood ITALIA: Blogging Shah Rukh Khan in Italy
Monia Acciari
Dollywood: The Pleasures of Playing with Mini Khan
Bernhard Fuchs
Dancing Bollywood: Peruvian Youngsters and
Shah Rukh Khan | Petra Hirzer
Bollywood Music as Multikulti Scene in a Mixed Diaspora
Silvia Martinez Garcia
Lyrics in Main Hoon Na: Shah Rukh Khan
and Javed Akhtar | Alaka Chudal
Shah Rukh Khan – Raj Kapoor Reloaded?
Similarities and Differences of two Reception Contexts
Florian Krauss
Star Gazing via Documentary: Shah Rukh Khan’s Stardom in
The Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan | Priyadarshini Shanker
At Home in the World? Shah Rukh Khan and the Politics of
Trans/National Belonging | Sunera Thobani
Outing the King: Global Bollywood and its Muslim Closet
Huma Dar
Shah Rukh Khan’s pioneer role in introducing new production, distribution and marketing techniques in globalised
Bollywood | Györgyi Vajdovich
LUNCHBREAK
WORKSHOP Religion and Film
Shah Rukh Khan´s Reinvention of the Muslim Hero in
“My Name is Khan”| Jaspreet Gill
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham: Reinventing the Ayodhya
Kanda of the Ramayana | Arno Krimmer
“And I Love Hinduism Also“. Shah Rukh Khan: A Muslim
Voice for Interreligious Peace in India
Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
LUNCHBREAK
14:30–16:30
Room A, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
14:30–16:30
Room B, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
14:30–16:30
Room A, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
14:30–16:30
Room B, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
Screening and Art Presentation
WORKSHOP Performing Gender (Part 1)
WORKSHOP Performing Gender (Part 2)
RESEARCH NETWORK MEETING
Mr. Khan – Vienna loves you!
Documentary on Shah Rukh Khan Fans in Vienna
Mehru Jaffer Hasnain
SRK, Karan Johar and the creation of “Bollywood”:
Beyond diasporic boundaries
Kamala Ganesh & Kanchana Mahadevan
Performing Femininity through Bollywood Dance in Bavaria
Sandra Chatterjee
The Light in the Dark (Exhibition)
Anna Mandel
Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh – Reflections on Masculinities, Movies and Matrimony from Rampur, India
Shrayana Bhattacharya
Convenor: Deana Heath
Reinventing East Indian Masculinity: Female Shah Rukh Khan
Fans in Trinidad and the Idea of a Globalized “Indianness”
Hanna Klien
Convenor: Deana Heath
Euro-Bollywood. Indian Cinema in European Contexts
Rajinder Dudrah, Bernhard Fuchs
Accounting for the Camp Cult Appropriation of Male Film
Stars in India | Charlie Henniker
Camp, Kitsch and Khan: SRK and the Global Dispersal of
Postmodernity | Meheli Sen
16:30–17:30 | Room B, Universitätsstr. 7, 4th Floor
17:00–20:30 | Hall I, Universitätsstr. 7, Ground Floor
RESEARCH NETWORK MEETING
PLENARY SESSION 3|Convenor: Claus Tieber
Founding of Association for Research on Indian Cinema in the German speaking countries
Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
Shah Rukh Khan and Hindi Cinematic Melodrama of the Baroque Kind
Anustup Basu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
18:00–19:30 | Hall I, Universitätsstr. 7, Ground Floor
Intermediality and Bollywood Stardom | Amy Villarejo
PLENARY SESSION 2 | Convenor: Rachel Dwyer
Shah Rukh Khan, Participatory Audiences, and the Internet | Elke Mader
Shah Rukh Khan and Hindi Cinematic Melodrama of the Baroque Kind
Anustup Basu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Round Table: Conclusions of the Conference
Closing of the Conference
Shah Rukh Khan: A Journey of Conquering Human Hearts Across Continents | Zawahir Siddique
The Don´s World. Designing the Milieu of SRK | Aradhana Seth
20:00–21:30 | Hall I, Universitätsstr.7, Ground Floor
SCREENING
“Kesariya Balam” – Love knows no Limit | Sandeep Kumar, Vienna
PARTY: October 2nd, 21:00–2:00, LOOP
Lerchenfelder Gürtel (Stadtbahnbogen 26/27), 1080 Wien
DJ and Organisation: Satish Gandhi | Dance Performances, Bollywood Disco
i
A
B
SREYA MITRA
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON
COMMUNICATION ARTS
PHD CANDIDATE
“My Name Is Khan” and “Brand SRK”:
Interrogating the Limits of Bollywood Superstardom
For the Bombay-based Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, and its
global audience of more than 3.6 billion, Shah Rukh Khan and “Brand SRK’” are symbolic of both the Hindi film star’s iconic value as well as the “Bollywoodization” (Ashish Rajadhyaksha) of popular Hindi cinema in recent years. Khan’s meteoric rise to
superstardom also needs to be read in the context of the Indian nation’s embrace
of economic liberalization policies in the early nineties, and the shift from a socialist
ethos to a consumerist ideal. As film critic Anupama Chopra underlines, the actor’s
meteoric rise to superstardom is not simply “a dramatic show-biz success story,” but
rather, “provides a ringside view into the forces shaping Indian culture today … (and)
can be understood as a metaphor for a country changing at a breakneck pace.”
Employing the work of star studies scholars like Richard Dyer, I look at how Khan’s
star text has functioned as a site of mediation for social and cultural aspirations and
anxieties, particularly for a nation negotiating the crucial shift from socialism to consumerism. In doing so, I also interrogate the limits of the actor’s star image as the
“global millennial Indian”by bringing into discussion the question of his “Muslimness’.” I argue that Khan’s religious identity essays a dual, and somewhat problematic
role – while it reiterates the actor’s embodiment of the “secular’” Indian Muslim, it also
marks him, at times, as the “Other” incapable of assimilation. In examining this question, my work engages with interviews, textual analysis, media coverage, as well as
detailed examination of the recent Shiv Sena controversy in February 2010.
D
C
Room
Room
Room
40
P
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(Coffee/Tea/Lunch)
Room D
Room P (Press Office)
Registration/Information i
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WORKSHOP RELIGION AND FILM | OCTOBER 2nd
Room Plan | Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Neues Institutsgebäude, 4th Floor
JASPREET GILL
THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES
ISLAMIC STUDIES
YORK UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND HUMANITIES
The Brand that is Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan’s Reinvention
of the Muslim Hero in “My Name Is Khan”
This paper will look at the “branding” of Shah Rukh Khan through an examination of
characters, and modes of “star” production. First we explore popular theories of stardom to understand how a charismatic “star” is produced who embodies certain fundamental attitudes and emotions of the time. The larger than life onscreen persona is
strengthened through a combination of media channels including reality shows, concerts and fan forums. We see the combined effect of these mediums in the production of a brand in the person of Shah Rukh Khan which is accessible 24/7 across the
globe. While reinforcing the star status these mediums bring about a mirage affect
and create an illusion that the ‘dream product’ may be within reach of the average
viewer. Furthermore, various dimensions of his life are highlighted at different times
and presented ‘different editions’ to attract different audiences. Through means of
documentaries and such his life is given an almost myth like status, allowing diverse
audiences to draw new hope and meaning from it in accordance with their own life
stories. For the hundreds of people caught in the throes of communal clashes, poverty and anonymity, the story and person Shah Rukh Khan then, becomes an embodiment of lifelong struggles and dreams. As illustration two recent films Chak De India
and My name is Khan are used to see how one dimension of his life i.e. his religious
identity has been used in recent years to make connections and create new meaning
for at least a part of the audience in post 9/11 world. For Muslims audiences, particularly in the West, the acceptance of his popularity despite his religious identity
off-screen and continued portrayal of positive Muslim characters onscreen, becomes
a model of hope and an attractive alternative and the brand that is SRK becomes revitalized and relevant even in a changing world and to a an ever-growing audience.
The Muslim hero is a rare depiction in Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) has played a
Muslim lead character in only two of his blockbuster hits: Kabir Khan in “Chak de India” and Rizwan Khan in “My Name is Khan” (MNIK). In both of these films the patriotism of Islamic characters is questioned at a national and international level. Kalyani
Chadha and Anandam Kavoori have argued that the “cinematic Othering of Muslims
has occurred through a variety of strategies of representation ranging from exoticization and marginalization to demonization”. In these two films, SRK recuperates the
figure of the Muslim male from historically stereotypical depictions, endowing him
with characteristics of nobility, integrity, loyalty and compassion.
My paper will examine the representation of the Muslim male on both the national
and global stage. MNIK connects sectarian tension in the national space of India – as
indicated by the flashback sequence – to the international space in the form of the
prejudice and negative bias experienced by Islamic Americans in post 9/11 America
and their global vilification. The character and film are departures from SRK’s cinematic work and speak to the global relevance of tolerance and understanding of the
other. In MNIK, SRK provides an interiority to his portrayal that is generally lacking
in Bollywood cinematic representations as Muslims are usually stock characters. This
re-configuring of the Muslim male in MNIK not only speaks to Bollywood representations, but to the pervasive global construction of Muslims, orthodox Muslims in particular. MNIK is remarkable for its positive portrayal of orthodox Muslims as the Bollywood trend has been to portray heroic secular Muslims. This positive imaging has led
to the film’s playing to packed theatres in Pakistan which bodes well for an emerging
solidarity between India and Pakistan.
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43
WORKSHOP RELIGION AND FILM | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP RELIGION AND FILM | OCTOBER 2nd
OMEMMA GILLANI
ADELHEID HERRMANN-PFANDT
THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES
SCRIPTWRITER, DICECTOR, PHD CANDIDATE
UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG
RELIGIOUS STUDIES
PROFESSOR
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham …
Reinventing the Ayodhya Kanda of the Ramayana
Director Karan Johar, son of Dharma Productions founder Yash Johar, has so far directed four films and all four of them were big blockbusters and are part of Indian
film history: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) and My Name Is Khan (2010). All four of them star Shah Rukh
Khan.
This paper attempts to explore how Karan Johar’s second film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie
Gham (Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad ...) is a reinvention of the Ayodhya Kanda,
the second book of the ancient Sanskrit epic and national Indian epic of Ramayana
for a modern audience. The Ayodhya Kanda is the second of the seven parts of the
Ramayana and narrates the preparations for Rama’s coronation and his exile into the
forest.
It is a well-known fact that in most of his films the name of the character played by
Shah Rukh Khan – although Muslim by creed – is that of the Hindu God-King Ram.
Even when his name is not that, the character played by that often responds to the
characteristics of this – according to Indian society – ideal man. It is interesting to
note that in the case of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham Shah Rukh Khan’s character
shows many of the character traits of Lord Ram as does the film’s narrative resemble
the second book of the Ramayana. Thus the film addresses India’s Collective Memory
as well as many archetypal elements in a powerful and subtle way. It has to be noted
that these similarities of KKKG and Ramayana have not been articulated by critics or
scholars so far and most probably have also not be noticed by the very major part of
the audience. Thus the interconnectedness between this ancient epic and this modern blockbuster deserves to be examined closer.
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“And I Love Hinduism Also“
Shah Rukh Khan: A Muslim Voice for
Interreligious Peace in India
One of the most remarkable features of Indian Cinema is its interreligious character.
In the production of each film, members of all religions living in India are partaking,
and nobody in the film industry has a problem writing or performing texts or rituals that don’t belong to his or her own religion. For many of us Westerners the first
medium through which we experienced the typical Indian intermingling of religions
and the idea of the interreligious “oneness of God“ was a Shah Rukh Khan film.
Starting from the astonishing activities of an Indian SRK fan club I have visited several times in the last years and from some scenes in selected Shah Rukh Khan movies,
I intend, on the one hand, to trace the origin of these ideas in Indian religious history
and on the other hand, to analyze the special importance of a public role model like
Shah Rukh Khan for the propagation of these ideas in India and abroad.
Witnessing and even sharing the joy and pride in which Muslims all over the world
reacted to SRK playing a person of his – and their – own religious identity in his last
film My Name is Khan, my impression is that for promoting interreligious peace and
respect in India as well as globally, it might have been much more important that,
being a Muslim, SRK so often in his career played deeply religious Hindus, Christians
and Sikhs, that he repeatedly appreciated their faiths in public and even prayed at
their holy places.
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WORKSHOP RELIGION AND FILM | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP RELIGION AND FILM | OCTOBER 2nd
ARNO KRIMMER
CHARLIE HENNIKER
MUNICH
CULTURE & PERFORMANCE STUDIES
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
PHD CANDIDATE
Performing Femininity
through Bollywood Dance in Bavaria
Accounting for the Camp Cult Appropriation
of Male Film Stars in India
In this paper a selection of Bollywood dance practices in and around Munich, Bavaria,
is analyzed from the particular perspective of a South Asian choreographer thinking
through questions of performing femininity.
Fifteen years ago, in my birthplace Munich, upon stating that I was an “Indian dancer,”
I was often asked back: is that like “Belly dance?” It seemed as though, for many, this
was the closest point of reference. Today, however, this reference point has shifted:
with the rising popularity of Bollywood films there has also been a boom in Bollywood dance practice.
The dances circulating through “Bollywood” films have become reference points that
locate my own, comparatively “marginal,” artistic practice as a choreographer within the broader cultural landscape in and around Munich. I am hence looking at the
practice of Bollywood dance through the lens of a choreographer of contemporary
Indian dance, who has been, for some years, investigating the staging of femininity
and the South Asian female body. This concern with the performance of femininity
through (Indian) dance and the production of “the exotic” also guides my study of
the specificities of Bollywood dance practice, in Bavaria, South Germany.
The focus of this paper will be case studies of women practicing Bollywood dance in
Munich and in surrounding small towns within Bavaria. A number of dancers, some
initially trained in “Belly dance” others coming from classical Indian dance have shifted to performing and teaching Bollywood dance. There are also groups of Bollywood
Film fans that meet regularly to dance together to the sounds of Bollywood music
– informally, outside a “dance school.” Of particular interest for the analyses are local interpretations of songs embodying different kinds of “Indian” women, such as,
for example, the two female protagonists of the film Devdas: Paro, Devdas’ childhood
sweetheart, and Chandramukhi, the courtesan.
Global discussions of contemporary films and publications now illustrate the problematic terminology of terms like “gay” or “camp” in India, coupled with increasing
speculation and reference to homosexuality. This paper analyses media representations of Hindi cinema stars and highlights the emergence of some male stars as icons
for gay communities within India and in the global diaspora. Analysis of the way Bollywood celebrities are represented in India’s press indicates that the media has been
crucial for this emergence to occur. Focussing on Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s most
recognisable and influential star today, the article argues that while a cult of interpretation surrounds Bollywood icons, there is a definite trend of stars confronting and
negotiating sexually ambiguous spaces, both on screen and off. Media “gossip” and
specific public responses thus serve a variety of commercial as well as socio-cultural
and wider political purposes.
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47
WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 2) | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 2) | OCTOBER 2nd
SANDRA CHATTERJEE
AMY VILLAREJO
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
FILM AND VIDEO STUDIES
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA, NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE, FILM & DANCE
PROFESSOR AND CHAIR
Camp, Kitsch and Khan:
SRK and the Global Dispersal of Postmodernity
Intermediality and Bollywood Stardom
One of the most novel aspects of Shah Rukh Khan’s phenomenal stardom has been
its malleability – the actor’s willingness, indeed eagerness, to portray characters and
figures considered “risky” within the Bollywood universe. From early renditions of
pathological homicidal misfits (Baazigar, Darr, 1993, Anjaam 1994, Raam Jaane 1995)
to embodiments of distressed, failed, even deviant masculinities (Kabhie Han Kabhie
Na, 1993, and more recently Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 2008, and My Name is Khan, 2010),
SRK has successfully negotiated a series of unstable character types in commercial
Hindi cinema. This paper argues that this star has turned a major corner over the last
five years or so: Khan has recently transitioned into a series of roles that actively engage kitsch, camp, parody and pastiche.
From playing a reincarnated comic superhero in Om Shanti Om (2007) to playing
himself as a baroque “star” in Billu (2009), SRK’s recent avatars are uniquely postmodern in their insistence on mixing genres, assembling disparate typologies, signs and
narrative impulses into extravagant, outlandish composites.
Alongside the propensities towards kitsch, parody and pastiche, SRK’s recent performances also lend themselves generously to queer readings. In fact, of all the meanings that gather around SRK as star, speculations about his sexual orientation(s) dominate. Ranging from campy invocation of the iconic gay band The Village People and
putting his impeccably taut abdominal muscles on display in the song “Dard e Disco”
to coy remarks about his closeness with director Karan Johar, Khan has not only handled the discourses about his possible homosexuality with verve and humor, but has
also deployed them towards securing a global cross-over audience. This paper will
finally argue that Khan’s enduring global popularity rests foundationally on his ability to harness signs that lend themselves to accessible and globally available understandings of postmodernity and queerness.
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“Intermediality” unseats the longstanding opposition between tradition and modernity that has governed much of the study of South Asian cinema. Understood as
a shift in emphasis from communication “devices” to the broader domain of media
practices and materialities, “intermedia” describes a way of understanding “Bollywood” as a new form of global culture. An emerging generation of media scholars
place Indian cinema and media at the center of debates indexed under the rubric of
globalisation, debates about secularism, capitalist expansion, sovereignty, popular
religiosity, and technology. Their work challenges previous models of film history, not
by collapsing Hindi cinema, into the category of “Bollywood,” but by attending to the
formal/aesthetic and ideological changes in popular cinema in relation to a changing
world.
As a name, Bollywood connects the Bombay film industry to Hollywood, yet its widespread application raises questions beyond industrial practices (studios, stardom,
genre) or new international schemes of co-production. Does it deride Hindi popular
cinema as derivative, or does it, conversely, mark its particularity within the context
of recent socio-political phenomena? For whom does it name: for the NRI in search of
roots, for the European/American audience in search of new content, or for the indigenous industry’s new generation producing work in an increasingly reflexive mode?
Thomas (1985) and Vasudevan (2001) furthermore stress the inherently intermedial
and intertextual nature of meaning-making in popular Hindi cinema, noting that
audiences have long understood elaborate schemes of citation and reference organized through the temple, calendar art, popular prints, movie posters, photo-deities,
other films and stars, and so on. Shah Rukh Khan is at the center of this orbit.
This paper argues that the concept of “intermediality” helps us to connect the astonishing achievements of Shah Rukh Khan and his films to the idea of a global cinema,
an idea whose time has come.
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PLENARY SESSION 3 | OCTOBER 2nd
WORKSHOP PERFORMING GENDER (PART 2) | OCTOBER 2nd
MEHELI SEN
MIRA LAU
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
PROFESSOR
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Shah Rukh Khan,
Participatory Audiences, and the Internet
During the past decade the internet has become a significant global mediascape that
reduces the distance between producers and consumers of media content in various ways. On the one hand, the internet links people, content, and places on a global
level; it facilitates and accelerates interaction as well as the flow of information. On
the other hand, it provides a platform for diverse forms of digital popular culture. As
Henry Jenkins points out, media practices often transcend the boundaries between
cultural industries and their audiences as new technologies are enabling average
consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content.
A growing number of Shah Rukh Khan fans worldwide form part of the new digitally
empowered and participatory audiences that engage in a wide range of activities
on the internet. The contribution will discuss two dimensions of participation in this
context: Firstly, media content concerning SRK is available immediately and continuously worldwide; it forms the base for intensive and extensive engagement of fans
with the work and life of the star. Fan activities in this context comprise viewing and
collecting pictures, interviews, and other media content, as well as talking about SRK
in specific forums, or interacting with the star on twitter. This form of participation
promotes emotional proximity between SRK and his fans, and forms part of his special connectivity with audiences. Secondly, various forms of participation in SRK fan
culture can be designated as “co-creativity”; many fans are “prosumers” who consume
and produce digital cultural objects at the same time. Thus, Shah Rukh Khan figures
in a multitude of visual fan art, he is the hero of hundreds of stories of fan fiction that
are shared on the internet, and he dances through a great variety of remixed and reloaded videos.
The contribution will give insight into selected scenarios of SRKs participatory audiences, in particular in the German speaking countries. Furthermore, it will discuss
how the internet contributes to the construction and consumption of SRK as a global
media persona.
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EXHIBITION
PLENARY SESSION 3 | OCTOBER 2nd
ELKE MADER
Exhibition
In cooperation with Elke Mader, Bernhard Fuchs & Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
Exhibits by courtesy of Maria-Stella Hinterndorfer, Satish Gandhi, Elke Mader,
Bernhard Fuchs
Indian cinema and Bollywood dance are part of the cosmopolitan popular culture in
many European countries. In the last few years German speaking fans grew to be part
of the fluctuating global audiences that actively shape the meaning of Indian cinema
and its stars.
Aiming at giving an ethnographic glimpse on the topic of fan practices and the material culture of fandom, the exhibition is going to introduce some of the interests of
anthropological research in fan culture and the relationship between Shah Rukh Khan
and his fans.
The exhibit is going to showcase film posters and representations of Shah Rukh Khan
in popular material and visual culture used and produced by fans. It will display “SRKitems” collected by fans from Vienna that comprise autographs, posters, photos, and
a variety of fan objects. Furthermore, video installations and virtual exhibits will accompany the display, featuring movie clips and digital fan art.
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RAJINDER DUDRAH
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
EUROPEAN ETHNOLOGY
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Research Network Meeting: Euro-Bollywood
The “Euro-Bollywood” research meeting at the conference aims at developing an
international research network and to work towards the application for a project financed by the EU.
From its inception Indian cinema has been a medium of both culture transfer and
identity formation. There have been several important European contributors like the
Germans Franz Osten, who directed movies with Himansu Rai and Devika Rani, the
scriptwriter Willy Haas, and the cameraman Josef Wirsching. The latter made Indian
movies starting in the 1920s with Franz Osten’s Prem Sanyas until the beginning of
the 1970s, when he died during the production of Pakeezah. What are the contributions of “Westerners” to the Indian film industry?
Hindi-cinema found enthusiastic audiences in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe
since the 1950s. Channels of cultural transfer (or mediascapes) vary with social and
political contexts: e.g. in Britain Indian cinema was an element of migrant labour
culture and entrepreneurship, while in the Soviet Union or Romania it has been supported for political reasons and has not primarily been linked with a South Asian
Diaspora. As such, many regionally and historically diverse trajectories for Indian cinema have occurred. Since the 1990s economical transformations in India intensified
globalisation and initiated a new wave of commercial Indian cinema. Whereas previously Bollywood primarily reached audiences in developing and socialist countries a
new interest in Indian cinema emerged in post-industrial societies where the entertainment industries found new prospering markets and ideologies to disseminate.
Our conference as well as the increasing number of scholars studying Indian cinema
and its media cultures are also consequences of these developments.
Another field of cultural contact of Europe and India can be found within the film
narratives and audio-visual representations themselves. Cinematic representations
of encounters with Europe can translate social and economical developments: from
the early tourists of Sangam (1964) to the affluent and self-conscious NRIs of the
1990s. Moral debates about the occident and Indian virtues often lie at the centre of
Hindi movies from Purab aur Pacchim (1971) to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) or
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Namastey London (2007). The West changed from either picturesque touristic landscapes or threatening urban environments to the main location of many film narratives as an integral part of the hybrid protagonists’ life world.
We understand cinema and its reception as a field of cultural production which becomes transformed by cultural transfer. The aims of the research project “Euro-Bollywood” will cover:
• Analysis of different forms of culture transfer in connection with Indian cinema.
• Comparative reception studies in different European Countries - not exclusively research on readings of movie narratives but study of cultural practices influenced and
inspired by Indian cinema (e.g. locally produced “Bollywood movies” and other derivates of Bollywood popular culture). This includes comparison with reception studies and fan cultures in South Asia in order to highlight culturally specific aspects.
• Analysis of the relevance of Bollywood for European Societies. What are some of
the reasons for the desire of Western audiences to consume Indian movies and celebrate Indian movie stars etc.? In what way does this research contribute to the understanding of European society?
• Research on cinematic representations of Europe and the West in Bollywood, Occidentalism and Orientalism in the films.
• Research on transnational influences and co-operations in the history and presence
of Indian and European cinema.
• Seeking inspiration in and developing cultural theory e.g. through integration of
indigenous concepts like Rasa-theory and highlighting non-western traditions. To
combine a European focus with Indian cinema does not mean that our perspective
should be eurocentric. On the contrary the concentration on Europe in relation to India and vice-versa should support an un-thinking of eurocentrism and on the other
hand prevent an exclusive indocentrism.
The idea for this project has been developed during a meeting in Vienna by Rajinder
Dudrah, Bernhard Fuchs and Elke Mader in Vienna in September 2009.
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NETWORK MEETING | OCTOBER 2nd
NETWORK MEETING | OCTOBER 2nd
BERNHARD FUCHS
MONIA ACCIARI
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Bollywood-Party
PARTY: October 2nd 21:00–2:00
LOOP
Lerchenfelder Gürtel (Stadtbahnbogen 26/27)
1080 Wien
DJ and Organisation:
Satish Gandhi
• Dance Performances
• Bollywood Disco
• Bhangra
Monia Acciari has completed her BA and MA (Laurea) in Film and Media Studies at the Università degli
Studi di Bologna, Italy. Following her studies at Bologna, she obtained a second Master in New Media
and Web Content Management at the European Institute of Design – IED, in Milan. In 2005 she moved
to the UK where she is working on her PhD at the University of Manchester with a thesis entitled “IndoItalian Screens and the Aesthetic of Emotions”.
ARYA AMIR
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
ANUSTUP BASU
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH: ENGLISH AND CINEMA STUDIES
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
[email protected]
Anustup Basu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the
author of Bollywood in the Age of New Media: The Geotelevisual Aesthetic (forthcoming from the
University of Edinburgh Press). Basu’s essays on film, media, globalization, and political sovereignty
have appeared or are forthcoming in boundary 2, Journal of Human Rights, Critical Quarterly,
Postmodern Culture, Postscript, Mute and in the anthology “Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song
and Dance” (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Basu is also presently guest-editing a special issue of
South Asian Popular Culture on new media ecologies. He is the executive producer of Herbert (2005),
which won the Indian National Award for Best Bengali Feature Film in 2005-06.
SHRAYANA BHATTACHARYA
[email protected]
DAGMAR BRUNOW
UNIVERSITY OF HALMSTAD
FILM STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE AT HAMBURG UNIVERSITY
LECTURER IN FILM STUDIES AT HALMSTAD UNIVERSITY
[email protected]
Dagmar Brunow has been teaching film studies for more than ten years at various Swedish
universities (Halmstad, Lund and Växjö). Since 2007 she has been a PhD student at the department
of “Medienkultur” at Hamburg University (Germany). Her thesis deals with aesthetic strategies in
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
PARTY | OCTOBER 2nd
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
http://www.hh.se/hum/forskning/kontextochkulturgranser/forskare/forskningspresentationdagmarbrunow.9151.html
SANDRA CHATTERJEE
CULTURE & PERFORMANCE STUDIES
[email protected]
Sandra Chatterjee holds a PhD in Culture & Performance from UCLA, where she also taught as a visiting
scholar. She is a co-founder of the Post Natyam Collective, a transnational network of independent
choreographers/scholars, working in body based performance, video, and scholarship.
www.sandrachatterjee.net
ALAKA CHUDAL
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH ASIAN, TIBET & BUDDHISM STUDIES
[email protected]
RAJINDER DUDRAH
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT
[email protected]
Rajinder Dudrah is Head of the Department of Drama and Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the
University of Manchester, UK. He has researched and published widely in film, media, and cultural
studies. His books include Bollywood: Sociology Goes to the Movies (Sage Publications, 2006);
Bhangra: Birmingham and Beyond (Birmingham City Council and Punch Records, 2007); and The
Bollywood Reader (Open University Press, 2008). He also is the founding co-editor of the journal
South Asian Popular Culture (Routledge). In 2010 he was honored by the Triangle Media Group, UK,
with a Top 50 Global South Asian Achiever Award in the category of Education. Other recipients of the
award included A.R. Rahman (Oscars Award winner and music composer for Slumdog Millionaire) and
Professor Amartya Sen (Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Sciences).
www.manchester.ac.uk/research/rajinder.dudrah/
RACHEL DWYER
SOAS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH ASIA
PROFESSOR
[email protected]
HUMA DAR
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH & SOUTH EAST ASIAN STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Rachel Dwyer is Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, University of London. She took her
BA in Sanskrit at SOAS, followed by an MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology at the
University of Oxford. Her PhD research at SOAS was on the Gujarati lyrics of Dayaram (1777-1852). She
teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in cinema and supervises PhD research on Indian
cinema. Dwyer’s main research interest is in Hindi cinema where she has researched and published
on film magazines and popular fiction; consumerism and the new middle classes; love and eroticism;
visual culture.
Huma Dar’s PhD dissertation is titled “Projecting Desires, Screening Muslims: The Racialized Politics
and Poetics of Indian Cinematic Discourses” (Department of South & South East Asian Studies at the
University of California at Berkeley) lays emphases on Film Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
Dar’s work is focused on the intersections and co-formations of gender, religion, class, caste, sexuality,
and national politics of South Asia, specifically analyzing the cinematic and literary representations of
Muslims and Islam in India, some star narratives, and the politics of reception of the same.
BERNHARD FUCHS
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
EUROPEAN ETHNOLOGY
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
[email protected]
ANN R. DAVID
ROEHAMPTON UNIVERSITY – LONDON
DANCE STUDIES
PRINCIPAL LECTURER
[email protected]
Ann R. David is Principal Lecturer in Dance Studies at Roehampton University, London. She has trained
in the classical Indian dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak, as well as other more popular forms
of dance, including Bollywood. Her research work investigates the impact of migration, of diasporic
movement, and other socio-cultural factors on the lives and dance practices of British Asians in
particular. She has published in many leading journals and presented at conferences all over the world.
Bernhard Fuchs studied European Ethnology at University of Vienna where he is employed since
1997. In both his MA- and PhD-Thesis he observed the niche-economy of South Asian migrants
in Vienna. His main fields of research are media, migration and cultural transfer. Recent projectparticipation “Embedded Industries. Cultural Entrepreneurs in Different Immigrant Communities of
Vienna” – published in German: Andreas Gebesmair (ed.): Randzonen der Kreativwirtschaft. Türkische,
chinesische und südasiatische Kulturunternehmungen in Wien (LIT Verlag, 2009). Working on a book
“Filmi Fulmi Masti – Bollywood macht glücklich! Kulturtransfer und cineastisches Vergnügen aus Sicht
der Europäischen Ethnologie (Bollywood makes you happy! Cultural transfer and cineastic pleasure
from the perspective of European Ethnology).
www.roehampton.ac.uk/staff/anndavid
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
Black British and Asian British avant-garde filmmaking as well as with questions of canonisation and
diasporic memory.
Dagmar Brunow is a board member of filmvet.se, the Swedish Association of Film Studies, the cofounder of “Nätverk för postkoloniala filmstudier” (Sweden), an editorial board member of the
forthcoming “Journal of Scandinavian Cinema Studies”, and a member of NECS – European Network
for Cinema and Media Studies.
Martin Gaenszle is Professor in Cultural and Intellectual History of Modern South Asia at the Institute
of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, Austria. His research interests
are in ethnicity, local history, oral traditions and religious pluralism in North India and Nepal. His
book publications include Ancestral Voices: Oral Ritual Texts and their Social Contexts among the
Mewahang Rai of East Nepal (LIT Verlag, 2002) and Rai Mythology: Kiranti Oral Texts (with Karen Ebert,
Harvard Oriental Series, 2008).
DEANA HEATH
DELHI UNIVERSITY
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
[email protected]
Deana Heath is an Indian Council for Cultural Research Senior Fellow in the Department of History
at Delhi University. Her work, which endeavours to place South Asia in broader comparative,
transnational and global contexts, focuses on a range of issues including imperialism and colonialism,
modernity and governmentality, sexuality and the body, communalism and violence, and Indian
cinema. She is the author of Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in
Britain, India and Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and co-editor of Communalism and
Globalisation in South Asia and its Diaspora (Routledge, 2010).
KAMALA GANESH
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
PROFESSOR
[email protected]
CHARLIE HENNIKER
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Kamala Ganesh is a cultural anthropologist and Professor at the University of Mumbai. Her research
interests include Gender Studies and Indian Diaspora Studies.
ADELHEID HERRMANN-PFANDT
UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG
RELIGIOUS STUDIES
PROFESSOR
[email protected]
http://sites.google.com/site/drkamalaganesh
JASPREET GILL
YORK UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND HUMANITIES
[email protected]
Jaspreet Gill is a doctoral candidate at York University and will be defending in the fall. Her areas of
specialization are postcolonial studies and the early modern period. Her essay “Sikh Redemption in
Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan” is forthcoming in the anthology Subaltern Vision in the Indian
English Novel.
Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt is an Indologist and Professor of the Study of Religions in PhilippsUniversität Marburg, Germany. She took her PhD in Comparative Religion from Bonn University with
a thesis on the Dakinis (Indo-Tibetan Tantric goddesses) in 1990 and finished her Habilitation in
2001 in Marburg University. She is the author of the museum exhibition “Tibet in Marburg” of 2007.
Her research interests are in Hindi cinema, especially after 1990, Indian and Tibetan religious history,
secularism and interreligious relations in India as well as religion and violence. On all these subjects
she has published many articles and four books. She is currently working on a research project on
Tibetan rNying ma pa iconography and preparing for another research project on religion and
interreligiosity in Hindi film that will cover the whole of Independence era cinema.
OMEMMA GILLANI
THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES
ISLAMIC STUDIES
[email protected]
Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt is interested in interdisciplinary cooperation in Hindi film research and is
therefore preparing for the foundation of a society for research into South Asian cinema in Germanspeaking countries that will take place during the Conference.
MEHRU JAFFER HASNAIN
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, WEBSTER UNIVERSITY VIENNA
WRITER, LECTURER
[email protected]
PETRA HIRZER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Mehru Jaffer Hasnain is a Vienna based Indian writer and film maker. She is the author of The Book of
Muhammad (Penguin, 2005) and The Book of Muinuddin Chishti (Penguin, 2008). She teaches Islam
and South Asia related topics at the University of Vienna and the American Webster University Vienna.
58
Petra Hirzer is a PhD student at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University
of Vienna. She has finished her MA at the same department with a thesis on Bollywood fans in
Arequipa, Peru. Her theoretical focus lies on processes of hybridization and appropriation in this field
of global popular culture. She is currently engaged in ethnographic fieldwork in Peru for her PhD
thesis that will be a continuation of the MA topic on an extended regional level.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
MARTIN GAENSZLE
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOUTH ASIAN, TIBETAN AND BUDDHIST STUDIES
PROFESSOR
[email protected]
MIRA LAU
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
[email protected]
Born in India, Nasreen Munni Kabir has lived in London and Paris (where she organised the first major
Indian film festivals held in France at the Georges Pompidou Centre, 1983 and 1985). She has worked
as Channel 4’s Indian film consultant for over 28 years and continues to select 20 films each year
(which she also subtitles). She has produced and directed for Channel 4 UK over 80 TV programmes
on Indian cinema, including the 49-part series Movie Mahal (1986/87). In Search of Guru Dutt (1989)
Follow that Star (a profile of Amitabh Bachchan, 1989), Lata Mangeshkar in her own voice (1990) and
most recently, The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan (produced by C4/Red Chillies, 2005).
Author of several books, including Guru Dutt’s biography, two conversation books with Javed Akhtar
and Lata Mangeshkar in Her Own Voice (2009) The Dialogue of Mughal-e-Azam (OUP) The Dialogue
of Awaara, Raj Kapoor’s Immortal Classic (Niyogi Books, 2009) and The Dialogue of Mother India,
Mehboob Khan’s Immortal Classic (Niyogi Books, 2010).
A former governor on the board of the British Film Institute, Kabir received in 1999 the first Asian
Womens’ Achievement award for her promotion of Indian Cinema in the UK. She is currently working
on a book of conversations with A.R. Rahman and dialogue books on Pyaasa and Bimal Roy’s Devdas.
Mira Lau is a bachelor student at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University
of Vienna. The focus of her studies lies on museum anthropology and postcolonial studies concerning
South Asia and Europe.
HANNA KLIEN
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLGY
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Hanna Klien is a PhD student at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University
of Vienna. Her PhD thesis on female audiences of Hindi films in Trinidad is based on ethnographic
fieldwork among the Indian diaspora and Afro-Caribbeans. Her research focus lies on questions of
gender, imagination and globalization.
FLORIAN KRAUSS
FILM & TELEVISION ACADEMY POTSDAM-BABELSBERG
FILM STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
ARNO KRIMMER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA AND MUMBAI
THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES, SCRIPTWRITER, DICECTOR
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
SANDEEP KUMAR
DIRECTOR
VIENNA
skfi[email protected]
Kesariya Balam – Love Knows no Limits (2010, Austria/India) is Sandeep Kumar’s first feature film, but
he has won several awards for short films made by him in the past.
60
ELKE MADER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
PROFESSOR
[email protected]
Elke Mader is a professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social
Sciences. She is also a member of the research group “Visual Studies in Social Sciences” at the
University of Vienna. For the past three years her main research interest has been in Popular Hindi
Cinema and globalization from the perspective of media anthropology. Her studies focus on nonSouth Asian audiences, transcultural processes, and diverse cultural practices of fans on the internet.
She is currently working on a book on Shah Rukh Khan fans in the German speaking countries.
http://homepage.univie.ac.at/elke.mader/
KANCHANA MAHADEVAN
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
READER
[email protected]
ANNA MANDEL
HAMBURG
SCULPTRESS AND PAINTER
[email protected]
Born in Berlin; studied philosophy at the universities of Berlin and Tübingen and sculpture at the art
academy Karlsruhe; worked as actress for Robert Wilson and Harun Farocki: assistant stage designer
for Johannes Schütz; scholarships at the Künstlergut Prösitz and at the Kloster Neuzelle; lives and
works in Hamburg.
SILVIA MARTINEZ GARCIA
ESMUC BARCELONA
MUSICOLOGY DEPARTMENT
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
[email protected]
Silvia Martinez is Head of the Musicology Department in the ESMUC (Barcelona, Spain) and teaches
Popular Music and World Music at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. She completed her PhD
in Popular Music Studies at the Universitat de Barcelona and furthered her studies with a grant to
conduct research at Humboldt Universität Berlin (Germany). Her main research topics are currently
Bollywood music, Postcolonial and Diaspora studies, and theoretical and historical issues related to
Spanish popular music.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
NASREEN MUNNI KABIR
LONDON
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, FILM STUDIES
[email protected]films.com
ROBERT RINTOULL
COPENHAGEN UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, GERMAN AND ROMANCE LANGUAGES
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Sreya Mitra is a PhD student at the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison. Her research interests include Indian cinema and television, stardom, gender and sexuality,
globalization, and culture industries. Her article “Localizing the Global: Bombay’s Sojourn from the
Cosmopolitan Urbane to Aamchi Mumbai,” has been published in Michael Curtin and Hemant Kumar
(ed.) Re-Orienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders.
Robert Rintoull is a third year PhD research student at the University of Copenhagen Denmark. Here
he is writing his thesis on Bollywood’s relationship to Hindu and Moslem socio-religious rituals and
iconography, in both the Indian subcontinent and the global diaspora.
http://commarts.wisc.edu/directory/?person=mitra
ASHISH RAJADHYAKSHA
CSCS (CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN CULTURE AND SOCIETY), BANGALORE
SENIOR FELLOW
[email protected]
Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a film study scholar and senior fellow of CSCS (Centre for Studies in Culture
and Society), Bangalore. He has published extensively on cinema and contemporary art and presented
papers on these topics in conferences across the world. He has taught Film Studies at the University of
Iowa, USA, the Korean National University of Arts, Seoul, and Birkbeck College/British Film Institute
among others. Among his books are: Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the
Emergency (Indiana University Press, 2009); Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, with Paul Willemen
(British Film Institute and OUP, 1994); The Sad and Glad of Kishore Kumar (Research Centre for Cinema
Studies, 1988); co-edited with Amrit Gangar, Ghatak: Arguments/Stories (Screen Unit/Research Centre
for Cinema Studies, 1987).
http://www.cscs.res.in/Members/ashish/cscs_people_view
SUDHA RAJAGOPALAN
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
MEDIA AND CULTURE STUDIES
RESEARCH AFFILIATE
[email protected]
Sudha Rajagopalan studied in the University of Bombay and in Moscow, and went on to do a PhD
in Russian history in Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Her doctoral work, a product of archival
and ethnographic research in Russia, was an ethno-historical study of Indian cinema’s reception in the
post-Stalinist Soviet era.
She is a Research Affiliate with the Media Studies Group (Research Institute for History and Culture) in
the University of Utrecht. Sudha Rajagopalan is also currently deputy editor of Digital Icons: Studies in
Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media.
www.digitalicons.org
62
MEHELI SEN
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
FILM AND VIDEO STUDIES
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
[email protected]
ARADHANA SETH
PRODUCTION DESIGNER, ART DIRECTOR, FILMMAKER
[email protected]
Aradhana Seth is based in Vienna and has worked extensively in various fields of the Indian and
International film industry and the world of art.
Among her Documentaries and Shorts are A Lotus For You. A Buddha To Be (Director. PSBT); A
Woman’s Place (Consulting Producer. Maryland Public Television. PBS); The God of small things
(Director & Cinematographer. TM3); Invisible Hands (Director & Principal Researcher. Doordarshan).
Among her work as production designer are West in West (Director: Andy de Emmony. Assassin Films.
BBC Films); Don (Director: Farhan Akhtar. Excel Entertainment); One Night with the King (Director:
Michael Sejbel. Gener8Xion Entertainment); Leela (Director: Somnath Sen. Lemon Tree Films.
Cinebella); Earth (Director: Deepa Mehta. Cracking the Earth Films. Zeitgeist Films); Fire (Director:
Deepa Mehta. Trial by Fire Films. Zeitgeist Films)
Her work as an art director includes The Darjeeling Limited (Director: Wes Anderson. American
Empirical Pictures. Fox Searchlight Pictures); The Bourne Supremacy (Director: Paul Greengrass.
Fromage Films. Universal)
PRIYADARSHINI SHANKER
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF CINEMA STUDIES
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
Priyadarshini Shanker is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University
where she has also taught in the capacity of an Adjunct Faculty. She has a double Master’s in Cinema
Studies from New York University and in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi,
India. She has published essays on “Hitchcock and Hindi cinema” in the Hitchcock Annual and on
“Sholay” in the recent anthology The Cinema of India.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
SREYA MITA
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON
COMMUNICATION ARTS
PHD CANDIDATE
[email protected]
A Czech/Nepali scholar, filmmaker, dancer and media specialist; she holds a PhD from UCLA’s
Department of World Arts and Cultures and earned a MSc. Degree from MIT’s Comparative Media
Studies program where she focused on Hindi film dance. She previously received her BA from
Princeton University and a MSc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and
Political Science (LSE).
Sangita Shrestova’s work has been presented in academic and creative venues around the world
including the Schaubuehne (Berlin), AIGA Boston/ATE Massaging Media Conference (Boston), the
Other Festival (Chennai), the EBS International Documentary Festival (Seoul), the American Dance
Festival (Durham, NC), and Akademi’s Frame by Frame (London, UK). Her writing has appeared in
several academic publications, most recently in Global Bollywood, an edited volume on Hindi cinema,
and she is currently also working on a forthcoming book about the globalization of Bollywood dance.
She currently works with Professor Henry Jenkins on questions related to participatory culture, new
media, and civic engagement.
Sangita is the programming director of the annual Prague Bollywood Festival.
ZAWAHIR SIDDIQUE
MS RAMAIAH INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT, BANGALORE
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
[email protected]
Zawahir Siddique is an Engineering graduate with a masters degree in Engineering Management
from Manipal Institute of Technology. Having imbibed multidisciplinary interests and with a teaching
experience in engineering and management domains, Zawahir Siddique is pursuing his doctoral
research on Emotional Intelligence. He has attended and presented research papers at various
international conferences around the world. Zawahir also heads the academic wing of i2i, the training
and consulting company based in Bangalore.
CLAUS TIEBER
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
THEATRE, FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
[email protected]
Studied theatre studies, philosophy, political and communications studies at the University of Vienna.
Professorial qualification (Habilitation) 2008. Worked as commissioning editor in the TV movie
department of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). Head of research project about music in
Silent Cinema at the University of Salzburg.
Recent Publications: Fokus Bollywood. Das indische Kino in wissenschaftlichen Diskursen. (ed., LIT
Verlag, 2009); Schreiben für Hollywood. Das Drehbuch im Studiosystem. (LIT Verlag, 2008); Passages to
Bollywood. Einführung in den Hindi-Film. (LIT Verlag, 2007)
in Screen in 1985. Originally trained as a social anthropologist at the London School of Economics, she
did her first fieldwork in the Bombay film industry in the early 1980s. Since then she has written widely
on Indian cinema, contributing to numerous books and journals. She is co-founder and co-editor of
the recently launched international Sage journal BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, a forum for
new research on the history and theory of South Asian film, screen-based arts and new media screen
cultures.
SUNERA THOBANI
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
[email protected]
Sunera Thobani degrees are from Middlesex University (BA in Social Sciences), University of Colorado
(MA in Social Sciences and Certificate in Women’s Studies) and Simon Fraser University (PhD in
Sociology). Prior to coming to UBC she was the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Professor in Women’s
Studies at Simon Fraser University (1996-2000).
GYÖRGYI VAJDOVICH
LORÁND UNIVERSITY (ELTE) – BUDAPEST
DEPARTMENT OF FILM STUDIES
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
[email protected]
Györgyi Vajdovich is an assistant professor at the Department of Film Studies, Eötvös Loránd University
(ELTE), Budapest, Hungary. She is a film historian specialised in early film history, Hungarian film
history and Bollywood films.
She is a founding editor of the Hungarian review of film theory and film history called Metropolis
(www.metropolis.org.hu) and the author of several articles.
AMY VILLAREJO
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA, NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE, FILM & DANCE
PROFESSOR AND CHAIR
[email protected]
Amy Villarejo is Professor in Film and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program. She received her
BA in English from Bryn Mawr College in 1985, an MA in English from the University of Pittsburgh in
1991, and a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies (in the Film Studies Program) from the University of
Pittsburgh in 1997, when she came to Cornell.
ROSIE THOMAS
UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER
SCHOOL OF MEDIA, ARTS AND DESIGN
[email protected]
Rosie Thomas is a pioneer of the academic study of popular Indian cinema, establishing an
international reputation following the publication of her first groundbreaking article on Hindi cinema
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BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
BIOGRAPHICAL SHORTNOTES
SANGITA SHRESTHOVA
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND PRAG
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES, FILMMAKER, CHOREOGRAPHER, DANCER
[email protected]
66
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NOTES
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NOTES
TEAM
TEAM
Exhibition
Conference Team
General Coordination
Elke Mader
University of Vienna
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Bernhard Fuchs
University of Vienna
Department of European Ethnology
Conference Committee
Rajinder Dudrah
University of Manchester
Department of Drama and Screen Studies
Martin Gaenszle
University of Vienna
Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
Deana Heath
Delhi University
Mehru Jaffer Hasnain
IANS, University of Vienna
Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
Christian Schicklgruber
Museum of Ethnology, Vienna
Claus Tieber
University of Vienna
Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies
Conference Organisation
Kerstin Tiefenbacher
MASN Austria (Moving Anthropolgy Social Network)
Assistants General Coordination
University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropolgy
Monika Hunjadi
Christian Rogler
Nat Sattavet
Cover & Layout
Curator Mira Lau
in cooperation with Elke Mader, Bernhard Fuchs & Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt
Exhibits by courtesy of Maria-Stella Hinterndorfer, Satish Gandhi, Elke Mader,
Bernhard Fuchs
Press
University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropolgy
Ulrike-Davis Sulikowski
Mehru Jaffer Hasnain
Katja Seidl
Catering Coordination
University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Ursula Probst
Marcel Singhal Kamlesh
Coordination Young Scholars
University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthroplogy
Hanna Klien
Bollywood Party
Satish Gandhi
Student Conference Assistants
Abdul Karim, Dolly
Altenhuber, Conny
Bergthaler, Kathrin
Brückler, Kirstin
Buvari, Doris
Durmaz, Melike
Eckel, Alexandra
Grassnigg, Christina
Hahnekam, Eva
Hetzenauer, Marion
Kaya, Ümmü Selime
Klotz, Thomas
Kirova, Yana
Kitzler, Gisela
Malik, Surina
Mairhofer, Jasmin
Osmanovic, Erkan
Öztürk, Elif
Petraschek, Carmen
Qureshi, Davina
Schiemann, Jana
Sindelar, Melanie
Singh, Devi Ilene
Stadler, Michaela
Sunda, Shikha
Tuswald, Andrea
van Doorn, Hugo
Wu, Xin
Judith Keppel
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