The Department of History and Classics in collaboration with the Department of English & Film Studies will welcome Professor Ulka Anjaria (Brandeis University) to campus on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 for the next installment of the Singhmar Lecture Series.
Professor Anjaria will deliver a lecture on “The Vigilante is Back: New Publics and the Common Man in Bollywood Cinema” at 3:30 PM in the Salter Reading Room, Humanities Centre 3-95 (UAlberta North Campus). Attendance is free and open to all.
Bombay cinema of the 1970s is famous for the figure of the vigilante, who acted outside the law to avenge crimes that the police and the courts were unable to regulate. This vigilante was known as the “angry young man” for his expression of masculine, subaltern rage. However, in the last decade we have seen the rise of new kinds of vigilantes in Hindi cinema, who reflect new forms of discontent with government corruption and the state’s inability to deliver justice. Today’s vigilantes are more understated, acting out not personal vendettas but communal injustices on behalf of a new, as-yet unformed political constituency: the aam aadmi (or common man). These vigilantes are at times angry young men, but they are also older men, and often women. What do these new vigilantes tell us about politics and cinema in the new India?
About the Speaker:
Ulka Anjaria is a professor in the Department of English at Brandeis University, where she teaches and researches South Asian literatures and film, with a focus on India. Her first book was a study of progressive writing, a movement that became dominant in mid-20th century India. Her second book considers the relationship of contemporary (2000 and beyond) Indian literature and film to new politics in India. She recently published a book on Bollywood cinema titled Reading India Now: Contemporary Formations in Literature and Popular Culture (2019).