Tag Archives: diaspora

India has not been displaced

A recent issue of the new journal The Global South focuses on the relative absence of India-based voices in cultural theory dealing with India and postcolonialism. They ask, quite directly:

Why, for example, do India-based scholars remain so woefully underrepresented in postcolonial and globalization studies, even as India itself has become the field’s most widely referenced postcolonial location?

The editors argue that the focus on displacement that has characterised my postcolonial writing does not reflect the position of the majority:

…the almost complete identification of postcolonial studies with diaspora, exile, etc. has yielded a discourse ill-positioned to critique globalization, one arguably better suited to strategically undergird the notion of a global neoliberal subject.

While an important source of critique for postcolonial studies, it raises the question of what replaces this discourse of displacement. It is the alternative a familiar story of victimhood?


Alfred J. López and Ashok K. Mohapatra ‘India in a Global Age; or, The Neoliberal Epiphany’ The Global South (2008) 2: 1, pp. 1-5  

Planet Bollywood

The Indian Ocean and South Asia Research Network invites you to its third seminar in 2009:
Anjali Roy (Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India):

DATE: Thursday, 28th May
TIME: 12.00 pm
VENUE: TfC Bagel, UTS, Building 3 (Bon Marche), Level 4, Room 4.02
Please RSVP: Cornelia.Betzler@uts.edu.au

Walter Mignolo has defined cosmopolitanism as a counter movement to globalisation on the homogenisation of the world from above – political, economic and cultural but differentiated it from globalisation from below. But Mignolo’s working definition of globalisation as a set of designs to manage the world and cosmopolitanism as a project towards planetary conviviality has been complicated and critiqued since he first reflected on the relationship between globalisation and cosmopolitanism. Arguing that cosmopolitan narratives have been performed from the perspectives of modernity, Caro Breckenbridge has underlined the need to reconceive cosmopolitanism from the perspective of coloniality that she calls critical cosmopolitanism. Making a distinction between cosmopolitan projects from the perspective of modernity and critical cosmopolitanism from the exteriority of modernity, she conceives the latter as a project for an increasingly transnational and postnational world.

Bollywood, a derogatory term coined by the English language media to refer to Hindi popular cinema, signals a phase shift in the production, distribution and consumption of Indian cinema. Despite their implication in nationalist ideology and the construction of the citizen subject, Indian films had leaked across national borders and were appropriated in diasporic nostalgia narratives in the past. However, Indian Cinema’s global flows at the end of the twentieth century, driven by the new dynamics of transnationalisation of production, marketing, circulation and reception, challenge traditional notions of language, genre, national and culture. Reinscribed as Bollywood, Indian Cinema has been disengaged from its specific location and become part of global popular culture constructing new transnational identities that recall prenational imaginings of home, belonging and community. This paper aims to compare the transnational flows of Hindi cinema in the present and the past to unpack the meaning of global culture and to examine it as an instance of critical cosmopolitanism.