Title Where Histories Reside
Subtitle India as Filmed Space
Author Priya Jaikumar
ISBN 9781478004752
List price GBP 24.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 416
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Duke University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“With grace and flair Priya Jaikumar shows how the preproduction practices and industry cultures of cinema—from expedition and nature films to commercial Bollywood cinema—produced and reinforced the spatial notions of territory and empire that dominated geopolitical histories. She looks forward to contemporary Indian geopolitics, as the privatization of economic resources increasingly harms vulnerable populations—even while location-based films exploit these populations and iconic precolonial architecture, now often in ruins, for a cinematic backdrop or ambience. Here is a magnificent study.”

Tom Conley, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor, Harvard University


Where Histories Reside is a superbly written book in which Priya Jaikumar uses the optics of space to recast the discourse of Indian cinema and its pasts. Landscape, territory, and architecture are brought into conversation with geography, cultural theory, cinema studies, and politics. The result is a magnificent and methodologically daring approach that displaces the desire for causality with the spatialization of historical inquiry.”

Ranjani Mazumdar, Professor of Cinema Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi


In Where Histories Reside Priya Jaikumar examines eight decades of films shot on location in India to show how attending to filmed space reveals alternative timelines and histories of cinema. In this bold “spatial” film historiography, Jaikumar outlines factors that shape India’s filmed space, from state bureaucracies and commercial infrastructures to aesthetic styles and neoliberal policies. Whether discussing how educational shorts from Britain and India transform natural landscapes into instructional lessons or how Jean Renoir’s The River (1951) presents a universal human condition through the particularities of place, Jaikumar demonstrates that the history of filming a location has always been a history of competing assumptions, experiences, practices, and representational regimes. In so doing, she reveals that addressing the persistent question of “what is cinema?” must account for an aesthetics and politics of space.



Introduction: Filmed Space


Part I. Rationalized Spaces

Chapter 1. Disciplinary: Indian Towns in British Geography Classrooms

Chapter 2. Regulatory: The State in Films Division’s Himalayan Documentaries


Part II. Affective Spaces

Chapter 3. Sublime: Immanence and Transcendence in Jean Renoir’s India

Chapter 4. Residual: Lucknow and the Haveli as Cinematic Topoi


Part III. Commodified Spaces

Chapter 5. Global: From Bollywood Locations to Film Stock Rations


Conclusion: Cinema and Historiographies of Space






About the Author:

Priya Jaikumar is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California and author of Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India, also published by Duke University Press.

Target Audience:

People interested in South Asain studies, film and media studies, postcolonial theory & philosophy.


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