Pakistani film and teledrama: call for chapters for an edited collection
Edited Collection: Pakistani film and teledrama
Call for chapters
Apart from one notable exception (Mushatq Gazdarís currently out-of-print, excellent but largely descriptive account of Pakistani cinema) there have been few serious examinations or sustained analyses of the Pakistani film industry. This despite the fact that in its heyday the industry was one of the biggest in the world, churning out hundreds of films a year. The same is true of Pakistani television, equally neglected by sociologists, historians and anthropologists. Today Pakistanís film industry faces an uncertain future, which makes the business of recording, studying and understanding its past and present pressing. Making sense of television is critical, arguably for the opposite reason: it shapes and reflects Pakistani society more powerfully than ever following the mushrooming of satellite channels during the last decade. Together, these two intertwined popular, commercial forms of cultural production, art and entertainment constitute an important dimension of visual culture that reflects and shapes Pakistani history and society.
The current edited volume sets out to study film and teledrama as parallel and intertwined visual discourses, the contents and formal conventions of which are materialised in texts that circulate through many stages of imagining, writing, editorship, production, distribution and consumption that have barely been identified let alone disentangled by scholars in the context of everyday experience. It goes without saying that the images and narratives in question should be studied within the context of social and historical transformations in Pakistani history Ė that is, with reference to class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, empire and nation. But we are also interested in questions of form, culture, aesthetics and space; the way, for instance, cinema culture is connected with diverse high and popular cultural aesthetics - everything from musical culture (song lyrics and poetry to dance choreography) to posters and truck art; cinema houses themselves are important urban spaces under attack from the privatisation of public space, the building of shopping malls etc. How are their histories linked with architecture and urban sociality - in big cities of course (Lahore of course) but also across the country in less obviously filmi contexts?
Essays focussing tightly on some aspect of either film or teledrama are welcome, and we recognise that most chapters in this collection will be restricted in scope to one or the other. However, we hope the material we receive can be used to begin a broader, comparative and interdisciplinary discussion in which the public cinematic sphere can be compared and related to the privately viewed world of teledrama, experienced domestically, within households. The latter, afterall, is where a good deal of cinematic talent (actors, writers) have done some of their most interesting and serious work Ė hard-hitting social dramas with massive audiences and far reaching impacts. The way in which these distinct ways of experiencing visual stories has evolved and changed since the early decades is an index of Pakistanís broader political history; one that might be told as much through connections as comparisons and contrasts between the two mediums, their sponsors, protagonists and audiences.
We have confirmed interest from a reputable academic publisher.
Abstracts should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by April the 25th. Authors will be notified if their abstracts are selected within a week. Chapters - no longer than 8,000 words, including bibliography and notes to be submitted by September 10th 2011 to us, the editors of the collection, in the first instance for review. Final versions, to be submitted within the period of two months thereafter, will be reviewed again before final submission to the publishers on December 1st, 2011. Publication is planned for early 2012.
Dr Ali Nobil Ahmad
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Lahore University of Management Sciences
DHA Lahore Cannt 54792
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