Saturday, 2 July 2011

Call for chapters for two books on Indian Cinema

The following is sent to me by Associate Professor Dr C. S. H. N. Murthy, (Film and Television Studies), Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam:

Call for Chapters for the proposed two books on Indian Cinema (Regional Cinema and Bollywood) by an international publisher from India

I propose to bring out two books which would offer a comprehensive discourse on Indian regional cinema (mostly regional other than what has already been said about Bollywood) in terms of critical, cultural and communicative theories. The books are mainly intended to address both Indian as well as western readership in informing them of the excellence embedded in the regional cinema such as Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam/Kannada/Bengali/Assamese etc. A publishing house of international repute is likely to publish them by the middle of 2012.

The aim of the books is to offer not only critical perspectives of the films of these languages but also delineate the innovation involved both in the variety of genres and mixed genres (like socio-fantasy films like Bhairavadweepam, Ghatotkach, Yamagola etc of Telugu)  developed by the narratives of these language films. The canvas is entire mise-en-scene and is not intended to speak only about identities/gender/representation (the so called west settled NRI scholars try to portray often)  though they too can be considered from an Indian perspective interlacing with the contemporary socio economic and political situation ( like the Aawara critique of Gayatri Chatterjee).

Though Indian Cinema has over 100 years history and has undergone almost all the parallel developments that the World Cinema had undergone from time to time, most of the Western authors have very less knowledge, exposure or understanding of Indian Cinema. Whereas some authors such as David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson (2004) surprisingly did not make any mention of the Indian cinema in their book-Film Art: An Introduction, some authors like Nelmes J (An Introduction to Film Studies, Routledge, 1996) tend to look at Indian Cinema only from the Bollywood point of view and hasten to describe the entire Indian Cinema structure as a fragmented narrative with a tailor made story/a formula type story which had been aptly described  as ‘masala’ films excepting the films of Satyajit Ray’s who had made some fundamental contributions to ‘auteur and parallel cinema’. Nor did any text so far bring out effectively the innovation and exuberance of richness in Indian Cinema not only in its story but also in terms of both production and marketing techniques. Neither the Indian Cinema directors/producers are ‘cool copy cats’ as Anupama Chopra tended to describe in her famous work-First Day First Show (2011, Penguinbooks, New Delhi).

This apart, one must note that Indian Cinema is not just Bollywood/ Murmbai Cinema/North Indian Cinema. A lot of Indian Cinema also thrived in its regional Cinema such as Telugu and Tamil the two largest major film industries in India besides very innovative Malayalam and Kannada. A lot of innovation indeed existed in Telugu/Tamil Cinema industries in terms of their ability to produce a wide range of genres and narratives that had set the standards for the Indian culture later. Especially Telugu cinema set the standard for pan-Indian culture than any other cinema in India.

Further the technological and symbolic elements (as pointed out by Hansen et al 1998) of  mythological cinema or folk cinema involving characters like king (s),prince and princess, the courts and the palaces etc have been unique and have no parallel in the world cinema. Further the works of Marcus Bartley (1917-93) a renowned cinematographer, in the mythological cinemas like Mayabazar (1957), Jagadeka Veeruni Katha  (1961), Missamma (1955), etc have been least understood even now. The lighting (black and white shades) and shooting techniques adopted by Bartley have remained mysterious to many who watch those frames with a sense of awe and surprise even now.

The proposed books endeavor to address the gaping holes or existing deep gaps of knowledge in terms of critical and cultural theories (no exception given for communicability/communication perspectives) in conveying about the native frames of Indian Cinema both from regional and Bollywood Cinema.

I am expecting to include 20 articles in each book covering a broad range of narratives of regional cinema. The authors who intend to submit the Chapters for the above books must send the extended abstracts not exceeding 1500 words delineating the areas and the methodologies they apply for the study clearly on or before Aug 31, 2011. The notification of accepted abstracts after blind review would be by Sept 30, 2011. The complete chapters must be submitted by Nov 30, 2011 which again would be subject to double blind review. The authors whose chapters have been accepted with revisions/modifications as suggested by the reviewers would be sent to the publisher by the end of Dec 31, 2011. Please send all your extended abstracts to mentioning the subject and the regional language it belonged to.

C.S.H.N.Murthy Ph.D
Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies
Department of Mass Communication and Journalism
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Tezpur University, Napaam,
Tezpur Assam 784028 India


Anonymous said...

sir,I'm prof.Premalatha of Tamil department,Govt. arts college,Salem.I would like to do an minor project on A ncient literature in Tamil.I want you to give information regarding the project.Please kindly let me know if the minor project can be done in my own language(Tamil) itself.

Kiran Thakur said...

Many thanks for the comment. I suggest you inquire with the college or university authorities about the procedure for applying for a minor or major research project. You can visit the link for the recent approvals. That will give you a broad idea. Search the main UGC website for the proforma for applications etc.
All the best.