CCSRE Faculty Seminar Series | Usha Iyer | Bollywood in the Caribbean: Cultural Migrations and Racial Constructions
A few years ago, I taught a course on Indian cinema at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. This presentation is a reflection on the deep affective engagement that Trinidadians have with popular Indian cinema and what this might tell us about discourses of belonging and citizenship that have developed around the histories of African enslavement and Indian indentureship in the Caribbean. Indian film spectatorship in Trinidad has become central to the performance of racial-cultural identity. Examining the pleasures and hegemony of Bollywood in various viewing contexts allows us to move away from the “West and the Rest” binary, and engage with other globalisms, including much-ignored connections between what are referred to as Global South locations.
Usha Iyer is Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies at Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of cinema, performance, and gender studies with a specific focus on stardom, body cultures, spectatorial desire and engagement, and the political economy of transnational media.