Media, Communication, Digitalization
Over the past fifteen years the study of Bollywood or popular Hindi cinema has seen a rise in the number of book-length studies focusing on varying aspects of the cinematic form and related popular cultures. Studies have included analysing key films, to exploring it as a global phenomenon or to consider it as a type of soft power within Indian state and economic discourses. Yet knowledge of Bollywood’s historical rise and geographical presence throughout the world is still limited. To this end, we developed a Euro-Bollywood special interest group which focuses on Bollywood in Europe and Europe in Bollywood. As a group we aim to bring together for the first time pan-European and internationally based scholars and cultural partners to explore the histories, networks and filmic representations pertaining to Euro-Bollywood (i.e. ideas of Europe in Bollywood and Bollywood in Europe), to explore and create new knowledge and understanding, including conceptual frameworks through the interaction of different areas across film, media, cultural studies and related disciplines.
As members of the Euro-Bollywood network we have designed this panel to represent a set of papers that analyze a number of dimensions of engagement of mainstream Hindi commercial cinema – Bollywood- with the notions and aspects of identity, sexuality, race and nationhood emanating from a series of interactions with the imaginations and realities of Europe as a geographical space and as a matrix of concepts, histories and cultural processes. Each paper looks at one significant aspect of the negotiation of Europe in Bollywood. Delaney-Bhattacharya explores post 2010 representation of white femininity or the character of the ‘gori’ is Bollywood films and how these once considered foreign characters, assume Indian subjectivities and assimilate into Indian culture more readily today. Hussein and Hussain theoretically constructs the ‘new women’ of Bollywood by studying female centred Bollywood movies to show how the female characters in these movies embrace and resist gendered and cultural demands of normative womanhood in India while also positioning themselves ‘new’ women. Kumar and Arendas studies changing perceptions about the place of expatriate Indians in commercial Hindi Cinema as exemplified by the new discourses on the Non-Resident Indian (NRI). Fuchs studies how film-inspired literary field can be studied as a form of place-making linked to the Bollywood mediascape and Asian ethnoscapes constructing identity, locality and imaginary landscapes.