Spring 2024

Gender and Bollywood Cinema

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-321  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-321  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-321


Krupa Shandilya (Section 01)


(Offered as ASLC 321, FAMS 321, and SWAG 321) Bombay cinema, popularly known as “Bollywood Cinema,” is one of the largest film industries in the world. This course focuses on Bollywood cinema and its local and global offshoots to think about questions of gender, sexuality and agency. The course considers questions such as: What beauty standards are imposed on women in Bollywood and how do they connect to colonialism, race and empire? Do LGBTQ romances in Bollywood endorse homonormative narratives? How do we read the sexualization of the female body in song and dance numbers? Do women directors make more feminist films? Films range from the classic Umrao Jaan (1981) to the contemporary Gangubai Kathiwadi (2022), women dominated action-thrillers Kahaani (2012) and Raazi (2018), LGBTQ romances Kapoor and Sons and Aligarh (2016) among others.

Recommended: At least one course in FAMS or SWAGS. Spring semester. Professor Shandilya.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: An emphasis on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, visual analysis, aural analysis.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Spring 2024