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Summer School 2018: Readings, Viewings, Links

Tapati Guha-Thakurta: Durga Puja Tours and Travels - The City as an Exhibitionary Realm
Each year, Kolkata’s Durga Puja scales new heights as the most spectacular, extravagant and publicized event in the city’s calendar.
Is Kolkata a Colonial City? Adda with Partha Chatterjee (in collaboration with Victoria Memorial Hall)
Adda: 'The practice of friends getting together for long, informal and unrigorous conversations' - Dipesh Chakrabarty
Tejaswini Niranjana, Inter-Asia Research Practices
Ever since its first issue in 2000, the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies journal has showcased some of the most ambitious and engaged scholarship in Asia. Across different regions in Asia, writers have asked sharp questions about contemporary spaces, and examined interesting phenomena that speak from the heart of cultural politics today.
Audrey Yue: The Communicative City: Ambient Participation, Place-making and Urban Screens
Public screens have become significant urban sites for place-making. Whether through physical location, the programming of art and cultural content, or capacity for networking, they are focal points for local embeddedness, community formation and civic belonging.
Kinetic Cities: Travels Through Inter-Asia
Anjeline De Dios, 'His Master’s Voice: Cinematic Sonicities Of Authority In The Philippine Drug War', Roberto Castillo, 'Out of place in a Chinese village: Urban Transformation and Precarious Migrant Bodies' and Soo Ryon Yoon, 'Performative Tactics: Camp or a Place that Became the Dead and Garibong’s Informal Survival'
Adda with Chua Beng Huat (National University of Singapore)
Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: The Research Cluster Model. Adda/Salon with Chua Beng Huat (National University of Singapore) in conversation with Tejaswini Niranjana and Samita Sen (Jadavpur University)
Kaushik Bhaumik, A City of Detectives: Calcutta in the Global Division of Intellectual Labour
Let's ask the question like this. Is the cinematic detective the last man standing, who still upholds ideals of rationalism and modernity, long after the disappearance of his literary counterpart?
Moinak Biswas, Coming to the City: Indian Cinema and Making of the Modern Self
Arriving in the city. We look at films from Bombay and Bengal, all from the period of national reconstruction in the wake of independence, that present the moment of encounter with the big city through the eyes of an outsider.
Subhajit Chatterjee/Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Tradition Under Siege: Obscene and Degraded Images in/of Kolkata's New Cinemas
Trash images, like found objects, arrive without context: they are free to be used in whatever way you choose, take what meaning you wish to read in them. They arrive as outtakes, as censored footage, as hacked off bits of debris even as the film-commodity smoothens itself.
Nishant Shah, Living in Unpopulated Spaces: Rapid Feminist Prototyping for Survival
Whether we like it or not, the near future will be defined by automation, artificial intelligence, smart infrastructure, urban intensification and energy generation.
Abhijit Roy: Reality TV, Participatory Culture and the Many Locations of Bengal and Bengaliness
We look at three sites of participatory culture around Reality TV that help us understand the many nuances of Bengal and Bengaliness in contemporary popular culture: Kolkata and its suburbs, Darjeeling and Shillong (the last two being hilly towns where Bengalis are a minority, the former within Bengal and the latter outside).
Rosinka Chaudhuri, The City as Poetic Image: Then and Now
The city of Calcutta as it existed in the poetic image. We explore the city in poetry, and in the poetic image as it exists in prose and, of course, in film.
Firdous Azim, The Varying Voices of Women and Literary Texts
The city of Calcutta was a hub of literary activities from the mid-nineteenth century or of the time of the so-called Bengal renaissance. This same movement had stressed the importance of women’s education and the efflorescence of women’s writing by the 1870s in Bengal is usually associated with this movement.
M. Madhava Prasad (EFLU, Hyderabad), 'The Country and the City in Contemporary Indian Cinemas'
Metiaburj: A Deposed King and Travelling Labour
Travelling popular cultures at the turn of the twentieth century.
The Chitpur Walk
As the story goes, Chitpur is older than Calcutta itself.
Walking with Ghosts: The Calcutta Ghost Tour
Madhuja Mukherjee, 'Time Travel via CCTV': An Immersive History of a Place
We embarked on this project to traverse the multi-planar history of Calcutta, and its heterogeneous spatiality. The attempt was to recreate a visual chronotopia of sorts. Thus, a CCTV camera was setup on top of a defunct theatre - GEM, Entally; and, by shooting ceaselessly for over 10 days we generated an immersive and 360-degree time-space movement.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
In 1951, author Sharadindu Bandhopadhay introduced his best known literary character, the ace detective Byomkesh Bakshi, in a series of wildly popular short stories often set in Calcutta’s China Bazaar. Through the 1990s these extended into a television series and several films, of which Dibakar Bannerjee’s is perhaps the best known. In a contemporary interpretation of war-torn Calcutta during 1942, the story follows the adventure of Byomkesh (Sushant Singh Rajput), fresh out of college, as he pits himself against a mastermind criminal. In searching for a missing chemist, the young private detective uncovers involving blackmail, an opium smuggling ring run by a criminal mastermind known by several names and guises, and numerous references to Calcutta’s Chinatown, Burma and China.
Sthaniya Sambaad/Spring in the Colony (Arjun Gourisaria/Moinak Biswas, 2009)
Ensemble film begins in a former Southern Calcutta refugee colony. As the story moves, it also moves into the metropolitan downtown and ends in a surreal finale in the new-economy developments of what's come to be known as 'New Town'.
Vyasa: the Graphic Novel - Story: Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Art: Sankha Banerjee
Walk around the Jadavpur neighbourhood & South City Mall/
Moushumi Bhowmik with Satyaki Banerjee, City as Field in Bengal: The Germination and Dispersal of Songs
The Travelling Archive is a shared space of listening to field recordings which come out of a journey through the rich and varied folk music of Bengal, covering mainly Bangladesh and the eastern Indian state of West Bengal and some adjoining areas of Assam in the east of South Asia; even distant locations such as the Bengali/Bangladeshi neighbourhoods of East London.
Garbage (Q, Hindi, 2018)
Garbage is a dark thriller drama revolving around dangerously true fundamentalist politics and patriarchy. Written and directed by Q, Garbage stars Satarupa Das, Tanmay Dhanania and Trimala Adhikari.
Sukanta Chaudhuri (Professor Emeritus, Jadavpur University), 'Where is Kolkata?', in conversation with Firdous Azim
Tejaswini Niranjana (2000) Alternative frames? Questions for comparative research in the third world, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 1:1, 97-108

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