This article explores and historicizes the rise of the woman filmmaker in India in the late 1970s and the 1980s in two overlapping domains: a vastly expanded communications infrastructure, including the spread of television, and second wave feminism. It takes as a case study the media maker Sai Paranjpye, whose eclectic career across a range of media—theater, TV, cinema, print—in multiple formats—ad films, documentaries, educational shorts, TV films, full-length features—was fairly typical of the nature of women's media work at this time, as women took whatever work they could find in a rapidly mutating media ecology. The article suggests that these media migrations provide a model of gendered media work that is constitutively intermedial, and thus reorders the aesthetic and narrative protocols of mainstream cinema.
Media Meddlers: Feminism, Television and Gendered Media Work in India
Sangita Gopal is an associate professor of cinema at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Conjugations: Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and coeditor of Intermedia in South Asia: The Fourth Screen (Routledge, 2012) and Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Film Music (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). She is currently working on a book on feminist media work in India in the 1970s, and finishing a monograph on the careers of James Ivory, Ismail Merchant, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala titled Transnational Film Production and the Social Network.
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Sangita Gopal; Media Meddlers: Feminism, Television and Gendered Media Work in India. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2019; 5 (1): 39–62. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2019.5.1.39
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