Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

3 - Cartoons and the Hindi Print Culture, c. 1900- c. 1940

Friday, July 6
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Jacaranda I, First Floor

As a modern representational form, cartoons were present in Hindi print publications simultaneously with other visual and verbal forms. They were regular features in literary journals, as well as widely reproduced and circulated as independent prints and booklets. Yet cartoons have been widely understudied in discussions of Hindi print culture and Hindi public sphere.


This paper will explore multilayered histories of cartoon production and their circulation in Hindi print culture by analyzing an array of primary sources from the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, including cartoons and other forms of visuals from Hindi periodicals, independent cartoon prints and booklets reproduced after their initial publication in the periodicals, private papers of editors, and early historical narratives on cartoons in English and Hindi.


At one level, it will trace the strategies and processes of localization and appropriation of the cartoon as an art form: what are the ways in which cartoons as cultural material of avowedly “foreign” provenance is made part of the nationalist literary-artistic tradition. At another level, the paper will examine the interrelationship between the literary and the visual in the context of Hindi periodicals. Yet at a third level, the paper will enquire into the ways in which the logic of the print market and commercial agendas for increased circulation conditioned the proliferation of cartoons alongside other visual forms in print media.

Prabhat Kumar

Presidency University, India

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3 - Cartoons and the Hindi Print Culture, c. 1900- c. 1940



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