CSSS organises a talk by Priyasha Kaul

Event From Date: 
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Event End Date: 
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Event Title: 
CSSS organises a talk by Priyasha Kaul
Event Details: 

Centre for the Study of Social Systems

School of Social Sciences


CSSS Colloquium


Priyasha Kaul

(Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi)


Will be presenting a paper on


Cinematic Return of the 'Imagined Diaspora': Nationalism and Politics in Post-liberalisation India


Date & Time: November 13, 2018 (Tuesday), 3.30 pm

Venue: CSSS Committee Room (No: 13), SSS-II

Abstract:This paper examines the mainstream discourse regarding the role of the diaspora in post-liberalisation India as read through commercially successful Bollywood cinema of the period. The paper demonstrates the significance of the shifting portrayal of the Indian diaspora in bollywood, from post- Second World War migrants to the new migrants after the 1990s, in the Indian nation- building project and its negotiations in casting out an ‘Indian’ identity, stable in its present yet shifting temporally. Using Partha Chatterjee’s framework on postcolonial nationalism along with data from interviews with Indian filmmakers, journalists and diplomats, the paper shows how mainstream bollywood cinema post-1990 has successfully employed a new imagined diaspora for mapping what the author calls the ‘new Indian modernity’ in post-liberalisation India which is reflective of India’s own ambition to raise its geo-political status in the contemporary world order. This discourse employs an imagined transnational diaspora strategically located in the capitalist Anglophone west to create an all-encompassing new Indian modernity post-liberalisationthat is transnational and materialistic in the public sphere while simultaneously being essentialised and portable, capable of establishing itself anywhere on the globe without compromising on its core Indianness. This paper re-conceptualises the identity politics between diaspora and homeland nationalism and the strategic significance of this relationship in furthering the Indian superpower dream in global politics.

Bio: Dr Priyasha Kaul is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ambedkar University Delhi. She has previously taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate level at Bristol University (UK), London South Bank University, FLAME University, Miranda House, Hindu College (DU) and IGNOU. She has also worked on various long-term research projects for the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at Bristol University, Equal Opportunities Commission (UK), Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (Delhi) and the Developing Countries Research Centre at DU. Priyasha has a doctorate in sociology from Bristol University, masters degrees in sociology and management from Delhi School of Economics (DU) and Bristol University respectively, and a bachelors from Hindu College. Her wider research interests include gender, media, diaspora and migration, organizations, religion, and contemporary social change.