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The haptic codes of Bollywood cinema in New York City

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This article draws on theoretical and interdisciplinary developments in film studies (metaphors of the body and skin, haptic codes in the cinematic experience, and Indian rasa theory), cultural geography (the location of places and spaces as informing subjectivity formation), and in cultural studies (diaspora studies and globalization) to situate and offer an exploration of diasporic South Asian identity formation vis--vis Bollywood cinema-going at two sites in New York City, USA. What is suggested is a complexifying of the sensations of the Bollywood cinematic assemblages that are consumed and incorporated in the cultural geographies and urban bodies of Bollywood's diasporic audiences in Jackson Heights in the borough of Queens, and in Times Square in the district of Manhattan. The article utilizes fieldwork notes of watching the same Bollywood film at these two different locations during the summer of 2003 to elaborate on the aforementioned theoretical work.

Keywords: Bollywood audiences; cinema-going; haptic media; rasa theory

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Manchester. 2: Florida State University.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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