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Masala Shakespeare (GIS/SAL/PS)

This graduate seminar considers two seemingly disparate genres – Shakespeare’s plays and Bombay cinema’s “masala” films. We will attempt to understand why, despite the cultural, linguistic and historical differences between the two, Shakespeare’s plays have been repeatedly adapted and reimagined in Hindi and other regional Indian cinemas. This will entail thinking about “masala” not just as a B-grade form of entertainment but also as a critical mode of engagement with – even a theoretical practice of – a plural society. How does Shakespeare approached through the lens of masala, and masala understood through the lens of Shakespeare, allow us to theorize the syncretic, the plural, the impure, and the mixed in ways that go beyond familiar postcolonial theories of hybridity? Plays to be considered: Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, and Titus Andronicus; films to be considered: Angoor, Isi Life Mein, 10ml Love, Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Lila, Maqbool, Omkara, and The Hungry.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka