File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2004/postcolonial.0401, message 39

Subject: RE: Bollywood and Beyond 
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 16:23:28 -0000

Dear Mita Banerjee

I'm very interested in giving a paper as part of your thematic session. It
fits uncannily with some of my most recent research and I would like to
propose the following paper:

'What is this popular ...?': recent British Asian cinema from Bhaji on the
Beach to Bend it Like Beckham'
The mainstream commercial success of novels such as Monica Ali's Brick Lane,
television shows such as Goodness, Gracious Me!, bands like Cornershop and
films such as Bend it Like Beckham suggest that British Asian culture has
never been so valued, or so 'popular'. However, in his essay  'What is this
'black' in Black Popular Culture?' (1992), Stuart Hall suggests "there is
always a price of incorporation to be paid when the cutting edge of
difference and transgression is blunted into spectacularization". Exploring
a variety of recent British Asian films, including Bhaji on the Beach
(1993), East is East (2000), Bend it Like Beckham (2002) and Anita and Me
(2002), this paper seeks to update and critically develop Hall's (Gramscian)
notion of the 'popular' as a site of ongoing struggle within the context of
the conference's main themes.

I'd be very grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible if you're
interested so that I can bid for funding from my department.

Best wishes


Dr James Procter
Dept of English Studies
University of Stirling
> ----------
> From: 	Mita Banerjee
> Reply To: 	postcolonial-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
> Sent: 	Monday, December 29, 2003 6:25 PM
> To: 	postcolonial-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
> Subject: 	CFP: Bollywood and Beyond 
> CALL FOR PAPERS for the thematic section: 
> EXTENDED DEADLINE: January 31, 2004
> We would like to invite paper proposals for the
> following thematic section at the 2004 Annual
> Conference of the Association for the Study of the New
> Literatures in English(ASNEL/GNEL) on "Transcultural
> English Studies" which is to take place in Frankfurt,
> Germany, from May 19-24, 2004.
> "Bollywood and Beyond"
> As narratives as diverse as British theater and
> Peugeot commercials attest, the West has Bollywood on
> its mind. Yet what is at stake in this hype for a
> genre which is already fundamentally hybrid, which is
> already ^”tainted^‘ by the West before it is ^”exported^‘
> to London? Crucially, Bollywood's success seems at
> first to run counter to what Graham Huggan has called
> ^”the postcolonial exotic^‘, the Western search for
> something Other than itself. To locate this Otherness
> in a hybrid cultural formation ^÷ an Indianness staged,
> literally, against the background of the Swiss alps ^÷
> seems at first to be counterintuitive. It is this
> counterintuitivity which this thematic section sets
> out to square: Just how is Bollywood defined in its
> Western reception? Is Bollywood coterminous with a
> certain ^”mainstreaming^‘ of Indian identity in the
> West?
> This thematic section thus sets out to contextualize
> Bollywood in a number of mutually constitutive ways.
> It wants to address a continuity of various Indian
> diasporic discourses. As ^”India^‘ has become hip, this
> sudden attention seems to open up a space for Indian
> diasporic cinema as a whole. This space, then, can be
> appropriated by filmmakers themselves who at the same
> time benefit from the sudden inclusion and resist it.
> How do these films signify on the genre of Bollywood
> cinema on the one hand and nationally specific
> British, US American, or Canadian imaginaries on the
> other? Films such as Deepa Mehta's "Bollywood /
> Hollywood", Gurinder Chadha's "Bhaji on the Beach" or
> Srinivas Krishna's "Masala" has explicitly dramatize
> this intersection in a highly ironic fashion: In
> "Bollywood / Hollywood," the synthesis between
> Hollywood and Bollywood is mapped onto the city space
> of Toronto as the marginal space of Canada signifies
> on differently located centralities. Attesting to
> cultural connections between minority communities,
> Mira Nair's film "Mississippi Masala" points to the
> interconnectedness of Indian American and African
> American histories. 
> At the same time, the panel seeks to provide a forum
> for discussion between South Asian diasporic
> filmmakers and critics. By contextualizing Bollywood
> and South Asian diasporic expression, this panel wants
> to point to the ways in which a ^”diasporic discourse^‘
> which is by definition ^”transnational^‘ intersects with
> nationally specific discourses of reception and/or
> redefinition. What is needed, this panel proposes, is
> a dialogue between, for instance, Black British/Indian
> British, Indian American, and Indian filmmakers and
> critics. The German location of the ASNEL conference
> on ^”Transcultural English Studies^‘ is thus also woven
> into the agenda of the thematic section on ^”Bollywood
> and Beyond^‘. In what way is there a specifically
> European narrative of the "Indo chic" of whose allure
> Bollywood as well as the success of Indian diasporic
> film may be one manifestation? In this vein, we seek
> to include German-Indian filmmakers such as Sadashivam
> Rao in the debate. At the same time, however, European
> minority communities have pointed to ways in which
> their articulation of their own identity and minority
> status is shaped by an American minority discourse. In
> this sense, a dialogue between European and US
> contexts seems essential. 
> Section organizers:  
> Mita Banerjee (Mainz)
> Jigna Desai (St. Paul)
> Christine Vogt-William (Frankfurt) 
> For more information please contact: 
> Mita Banerjee <>
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