3 November 2006

WORKSHOP - Transnational Dialogues on Bollywood: Australian Perspectives (30 Nov 2006; Melbourne, Vic)

ANU–Monash University Workshop
Monash Conference Centre, Collins Street, Melbourne
Thursday 30 November 2006

Debjani Ganguly (Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, ANU)
Andrew Hassam (National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University)


Today in countries such as Australia, the Indian film industry is best known by the label of Bollywood, a genre of popular films produced in Bombay (Mumbai) and made in Hindi. In the domain of popular and material culture, in Australia and elsewhere, Bollywood circulates as a potent aesthetic and cultural marker of Indianness. Clothes, jewellery, food, footwear and even dance fitness schools proudly wear the Bollywood label. At the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, held in March 2006, the opening ceremony featured an elaborate dance and musical ensemble on Bollywood themes. For a long time now, Bollywood films have circulated globally among the Indian and South Asian diaspora as a shared cultural idiom. They have also been immensely popular in the erstwhile Soviet Union and on the African continent. Further, in an age when creative, information and service industries propel economic growth, Bollywood and its modalities of production, distribution and reception, are seen as important players in global culture-industry networks. Countries of the developed world – Switzerland, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand – go out of their way to welcome Bollywood production teams to shoot in their pristine locales. Local cinema houses in Australia, US, UK and Europe regularly run shows of newly released Bollywood blockbusters. Many Hollywood producers now outsource their post-production work to Mumbai at costs lower than what they would incur in the US.

This one-day workshop brings together scholars from India and Australia to explore the transnational impact of Bollywood on public spheres around the globe and to assess its contribution to creative industries in Australia. It proposes to address the following themes, with particular reference to the Australian context:

• Transnational circulation of Bollywood as a marker of Indianness
• Bollywood as shared cultural idiom among the Indian diaspora
• Translation of Bollywood themes, genres, styles into various popular cultural forms around the world – the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, new media art, intercultural youth films
• Impact of Bollywood on material culture – food, fashion and fitness
• Production, distribution and reception of Bollywood films
• Bollywood’s contribution to creative industries

Confirmed speakers:

  • Debjani Ganguly (ANU)
  • Devleena Ghosh (UTS)
  • Andrew Hassam (Monash University)
  • Goldie Osuri (Macquarie University)
  • Vijay Mishra (Murdoch University)
  • NagaMallika G. (Manipal Institute of Communications, India)
  • Makarand Paranjape (JNU, New Delhi, India)
  • Anjali Gera Roy (IIT, Kharagpur, India)
  • Anupam Sharma (Films and Casting Temple, Sydney)
For details, please email:
Dr Andrew Hassam, National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University