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Cinema and Transnationalism in Pakistan and South Asia: Regional Histories

Cinema and Transnationalism in Pakistan and South Asia: Regional Histories
September 1-2, 2016

The Workshop brought to Pakistan the South Asian Media Scholars Network
(SAMSNet), a new research initiative for collaborative and cross-border scholarship on South Asian Cinema and Media.


AIPS Co-sponsored Conference ‘Cinema and Transnationalism in Pakistan and South Asia: Regional Histories’ was organized by Dr. Esha Niyogi De (UCLA) and Dr. Ali Khan (LUMS) and hosted by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS on September 1-2, 2016. This conference brought to Pakistan the South Asian Regional Media Studies Network (SARMSNet).  This cross-border initiative fostered collaborative scholarship on the histories of cinema and media shared by Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Considering the histories of cinema in Pakistan and the Subcontinent, a number of presentations examined the regional travels of images, artists, and industrial resources, and how traditions and their cultural influences intertwine with one another.  While participants were deeply concerned with the politics of nation, ethnicity, and gender born of specific geopolitical conditions in the Subcontinent, they explored the role film and media networks have also played in destabilizing divisive identities.  Some papers studied how Some papers studied how popular cinemas illuminate everyday practices of same-sex friendship and cross-ethnic solidarity, whereas some others discussed gendered imaginations of justice and human rights in films on conflict, war, and terror.  Historically specific readings of Pakistani Cinema (Urdu, Punjabi) were complemented by analyses of transregional flows, which emphasized the historical linkage between film industries and urban landscapes across South Asia.

Workshop Topics

(1) Regional Cinemas and Cultural Pluralism in Pakistan and South Asia
(2) The Lahore Film Industry and its Networks across the Northern Subcontinent.
(3) Social Justice, Democratic Values, and Cross-Border Narratives in Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi Films.
(4) Women’s Cinema and feminist cinema in Pakistan and South Asia.

Workshop Events

(a) Paper presentations by invited senior scholars in the fields of Pakistani Cinema and South Asian Cinema.
(b) Roundtable discussions by selected student groups at LUMS, responding to each presentation.
(c) Film screenings accompanied by panel discussions involving invited young faculty from Film Studies departments in Pakistan, film researchers, and film practitioners. Senior scholars will act as facilitators. 

Conference Poster & Program 

Final Report