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Call for Papers: BioScope – ‘Regional Cinemas of India’ and ‘Videogame Cultures in South Asia’

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BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies invites paper abstracts for two upcoming special issues, focusing on ‘Regional Cinemas of India’ and ‘Videogame Cultures in South Asia.’ Guest editors for these issues will be S.V. Srinivas and Padmini Ray Murray, respectively.

Interested authors may send abstracts of no more than 500 words by October 15, 2014, for both the special issues. Final papers should be 6000-8000 words long and are due on January 15, 2015. All papers will be reviewed through a blind peer review process.

Regional Cinemas of India

Regional cinema has been a holdall category whose primary function is to distinguish between Hindi/Bombay cinema and other cinemas of India. In the recent past there has been a significant growth of academic publications, including books, on regional cinemas that call for a thorough re-conceptualisation of the category. Several questions relating to the cinema’s economics, and its social and political significance are perhaps best investigated with reference to regional cinemas in specific geographical and historical contexts. Region in regional cinema too has undergone a drastic revision. It is no longer a synonym for the linguistic state or even single-language cinemas, as has been demonstrated by new work on the cinemas of south India and Bhojpuri cinema alike. Further, regions within linguistic states acquired significance in critical writing due to political movements as well as genre tendencies that emerged in particular geographical regions within a state (e.g., Telangana before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and south Tamil Nadu). Hindi and Hindi/Urdu cinemas, too, may benefit from a closer consideration of the regional cinematic contexts of their historical articulation, rather than focus only on Bombay and `Bollywood’. And there is a clear need to explore the markets and audiences of regional cinemas outside India. Finally, we may consider new regional dynamics made possible by advent of digital productions and distribution networks.

The proposed special issue of BioScope highlights frameworks, approaches and methodologies for the study of India’s regional cinemas. Contributions are invited from researches working on regional cinemas and the issues, questions and challenges thrown up by them.

Some of the topics/themes that would be of interest are listed below. The list is not exhaustive and authors are welcome to explore other topics.

> Region as category: multi-language regions, (eg. Presidencies), sub-regional formations (Telangana, Mysore), mobile and migrant regions (eg. Bhojpuri)

> Emergence and growth of film production centres, including new digital film production

> Language, statehood and markets

> State governments and film policy

> Territories, landscapes, `nativity’ effects

> Production of authenticity, location shooting and realism

> Ethnicity and Caste: political economy, on-screen representation

> Stars: patriarchs, new gender formations, and regional connotations

> Audiences and gendered spectatorship: fans, devotees and others

> Genre: epic melodrama, mythological, devotionals, socials, folklore, propaganda film, red film, etc.

> Political parties, politicians, populism and the entertainment industry

> Overseas markets and audiences

> Distribution, exhibition and consumption in the post-celluloid era: digital projection, DVDs, file sharing and ‘content’

Send abstract to S.V. Srinivas, Guest Editor, BioScope Special Issue on Regional Cinemas of India at by October 15, 2014.

Videogame Cultures in South Asia

The increasing ubiquity of mobile computing devices in South Asia has accelerated gaming culture in the region to an unprecedented extent; however, academic analysis of this phenomenon is still very limited. In an attempt to address this lacuna, Bioscope would like to invite contributions on videogame cultures in South Asia. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

> transmedia gaming: the videogame and Bollywood; the extension of franchises through videogames; the videogame as artist’s medium; theatre as game interface;

> the business of making games: production practices; interviews with games designers and studios, the local vs the global industry;

> social gaming: gaming, as particularly facilitated by social networks;

> audiences: consumption; circulation; fandoms; access;

> histories of gaming: region specific accounts of gaming practices and how they gained currency; other practices of play (board games, sport) and their influence on videogames; cultural specificity and how it might shape game design;

> game design: explorations of game mechanics, gameplay, narrative and how they facilitate meaning; serious games; gamification and governance;

> the game as media artefact: how does a game distinguish itself from other narrative forms? how is the experience of a game altered by devices and their affordances.

Send abstract to Padmini Ray Murray, Guest Editor, BioScope Special Issue on Videogame Cultures in South Asia at by October 15, 2014.