The Making of Hindu Hollywood

Nitin Govil, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall

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Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow is garlanded during the filming

of Zero Dark Thirty near Chandigarh in 2010.



About the Lecture

As we close a century of Indo-Am  erican feature film encounter and are inundated with daily stories of proliferating institutional and financial arrangements, it is important that we reflect on the long history of contact between Bombay and Hollywood media. Contact between these media industries is often figured by large-scale movements of trade, from capital and money flows to production agreements and co-ventures. Changing the tenor of inter-industry engagement, this paper looks back at the history of contact between Hollywood and Bombay cinema by focusing on accounts of religion and conversion. Of course, Hollywood stars have long journeyed to India as part of a quest for spiritual transcendence and personal transformation. While acknowledging these trajectories, this presentation focuses on the way that religious conversion has served to characterize the differences between the worlds of film work in America and India. Drawing on key moments of encounter between Hollywood and Bombay, I show how religion - and Hinduism in particular - draws the affective into the industrial, highlighting tensions and overlaps between the two forms while playing a role in managing the precariousness of film labor. 


About the Speaker

Nitin Govil is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he teaches and writes on comparative media in global and local contexts. He is a co-author of Global HollywoodGlobal Hollywood 2, and essays in over twenty journals and anthologies. His work has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. He is currently completing two new book projects. The first is The Indian Film Industry, co-authored with Ranjani Mazumdar. The second is a book on a century of film culture between Hollywood and Bombay called Orienting Industry, which will be coming out later this year from NYU Press. Prior to joining USC, he held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, the University of California, San Diego, and a visiting appointment in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.Free and Open to the Public!


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Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia