From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry

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From Bombay to Bollywood analyzes the transformation of the national film industry in Bombay into a transnational and multi-media cultural enterprise, which has come to be known as Bollywood. Combining ethnographic, institutional, and textual analyses, Aswin Punathambekar explores how relations between state institutions, the Indian diaspora, circuits of capital, and new media technologies and industries have reconfigured the Bombay-based industry’s geographic reach. Providing in-depth accounts of the workings of media companies and media professionals, Punathambekar has produced a timely analysis of how a media industry in the postcolonial world has come to claim the global as its scale of operations.

Based on extensive field research in India and the U.S., this book offers empirically-rich and theoretically-informed analyses of how the imaginations and practices of industry professionals give shape to the media worlds we inhabit and engage with. Moving beyond a focus on a single medium, Punathambekar develops a comparative and integrated approach that examines four different but interrelated media industries–film, television, marketing, and digital media. Offering a path-breaking account of media convergence in a non-Western context, Punathambekar’s transnational approach to understanding the formation of Bollywood is an innovative intervention into current debates on media industries, production cultures, and cultural globalization.

Aswin Punathambekar

About Aswin Punathambekar

Aswin Punathambekar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. His books and articles explore the impact that globalization and technological change have on the workings of media industries, audience and user practices, and cultural identity and politics. He is the author of From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (NYU Press, 2013) and co-editor of Global Bollywood (2008, NYU Press), Television at Large in South Asia (2013, Routledge), and Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press). He is currently working on his next book, provisionally titled The Digital Popular: Media, Culture, and Politics in Networked India. He is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Media, Culture and Society and also co-edits the Critical Cultural Communication series for NYU Press. Thesis: We Are Like This Only: Desis and Hindi Films in the Diaspora


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