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New CosmopolitanismsSouth Asians in the US$
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Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752800

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752800.001.0001

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Bollywood Abroad: South Asian Diasporic Cosmopolitanism and Indian Cinema

Bollywood Abroad: South Asian Diasporic Cosmopolitanism and Indian Cinema

(p.115) Chapter Five Bollywood Abroad: South Asian Diasporic Cosmopolitanism and Indian Cinema
New Cosmopolitanisms

Jigna Desai

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines South Asian American cosmopolitanism by surveying the ways in which cinema functions to produce and articulate transnational cosmopolitan subjects. It first introduces the central features of Bollywood cinema abroad attending to the location, distribution, and reception of films. It then considers the impact of Bollywood films on diasporic and dominant cultural production. Finally, it concludes by focusing on the particular pattern of diasporic consumption of Bollywood films and its relationship to the production of cosmopolitanism within South Asian America. Throughout it is argued that Indian and diasporic cinema contributes in complex ways to South Asian cosmopolitanism. Cinema addresses issues of national belonging and citizenship and correlates media technologies with sexual, class, and community politics. Employing a transnational feminist and queer critique, the chapter considers how South Asian American cosmopolitanism negotiates a complex and ambivalent location in nation-state and global processes that is due to contradictory relations between capital and racial formations.

Keywords:   South Asians, films, Bollywood cinema, diaspora, cultural production, national belonging, citizenship

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