Incorporating the gorgeous and glossy films of Bollywood in the classroom can be a challenge. This seminar will begin by introducing not only the conventions, themes, and genres associated with “Bollywood” films but also some of the regional and “art” cinemas of India. Seminar participants will then consider a selection of films that might be the starting point for classroom discussions about Indian history, literature, religion, and film. Brief clips from a selection of films will illuminate how Indian filmmakers have envisioned such diverse topics as the legacy of British colonialism, post-independence Indian national identities, the restaging of Shakespeare’s plays and Jane Austen’s novels in modern-day India, the pantheon of Hindu deities, and the intricate workings of India’s film industries.
Seminar led by Catherine Becker, University of Illinois at Chicago