Who the Hell Do the Censors Think They Are?

Public guest lecture on Publicity and Censorship in Bombay Cinema by William Mazzarella, University of Chicago.

By what right or qualification can one group of people decide what their fellow citizens may or may not see at the movies? Why do the images that supposedly injure one group of people leave another unaffected? This lecture situates these persistent questions vis-à-vis the longer history of film censorship in India, showing how a set of colonial debates around the force and meaning of mass mediated images continues to animate present day controversies over the power, promise and danger of film.

William Mazzarella is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (2003) and Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (2013). He is also the co-editor, with Raminder Kaur, of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (2009). Under the rubric ‘The Mana of Mass Society’ he is currently revisiting classic anthropological theory for unexpected clues to the magic of mass publicity.

Date: 24 March 2014
Time: kl. 13.00-15.00
Venue: Room 27.0.17, building 27, Faculty of Humanities