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EVENT RECAP | LECTURE | Scientific Desires: Bombay Cinema Between Industry & Illusion | Debashree Mukherjee (Columbia University)

March 11, 2022

On Thursday, March 10th, 2022, Debashree Mukherjee presented a lecture on research from her new book, Bombay Hustle: Making Movies in a Colonial City (Columbia University Press, 2020). Her work focuses on the origins of Bombay Cinema in the 1930s, a period of great uncertainty in the life of the city, much different than the brash commercial giant Bollywood is today. She tracks how stakeholders in Bombay’s cine-ecology mobilized science to counter cinema’s dubious social reputation and reposition it as an efficient swadeshi industry, and how the forces of colonialism, capitalism and nationalism mediated this. Her lecture also highlighted to her own experiences working in the Hindi film industry in the early 2000’s, and how the legacy of early methodologies continue on today. The lecture was well attended by UW students, faculty, staff, and film aficionados.