University of Massachusetts, US
Lakshmi Srinivas’ research interests are in creative industries, public culture and consumption and leisure and more specifically in popular cinema and its production and reception, Indian cinema, audiences, and ethnographic research. Following her undergraduate education in South India, she received an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MA in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research papers are based on an ethnographic study of cinema-going and film reception in India and have been published in Media, Culture and Society, Visual Anthropology, Ethnography, South Asian Popular Culture and Comparative American Studies. She has also contributed to the Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas and to edited volumes on Indian cinema and Asian media and globalization. She is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she teaches courses on Indian cinema, media, popular culture and technology and society.
Cinema in India has evolved to address the country’s multi-culturalism and the extreme diversity of its population. While Bombay cinema, widely known as ‘Bollywood’ is often conflated with ‘Indian’ cinema, there are in reality multiple film industries and many cinemas in India. Heterogeneity shapes all aspects of cinema; together with audiences who are participatory and interactive in public settings it makes for a distinctive culture of cinematic entertainment. How can we understand cinema in India, its culture and institutions in the context of ongoing change? How can Indian cinema inform our understandings of the nature and significance of cinema more broadly? These questions become important for a comparative perspective on cinema.