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Deities and DevoteesCinema, Religion, and Politics in South India$
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Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199487356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199487356.001.0001

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Cinema and Religion—New Genres, New Publics, and New Subjectivities

(p.1) Introduction
Deities and Devotees

Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

Oxford University Press

The introduction outlines a genealogy of how cinema and other media created new cultural contexts and new cultural subjects in the twentieth century India, thereby transforming religion and producing the hybrid figure of the citizen–devotee. The first section presents conceptual debates on secularism, citizenship, religion and media, embodiment and affect that frame this study. The second section is a detailed account of the mythological and devotional genres in Indian cinema and the predominant critical frameworks. The third focuses on the history of Telugu cinema tracing the different performative traditions and oral and printed texts that form a basis for these genres. It argues that both cinema technology and new political contexts mediate existing texts and traditions significantly. The final section describes the historical and ethnographic methods adopted in the study and the range of materials—film texts, publicity material, interviews, memoirs, and biographies of film-makers—used.

Keywords:   citizenship, secularism, agency, cinema, Telugu film history, citizen–devotee

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