Call for papers for a Panel on 'Representation of the Himalayas in Films and Media' scheduled at Yale University, New Haven Connecticut, Friday 14 – Sunday 16 March 2014.
The Himalayas have always fascinated travelers, adventure seekers, mountaineers, spiritual seekers, photographers and filmmakers. Geo-scientific theory of plate tectonics believes that the Himalayas came into being as result of the collision between Indo-Australian plates and Eurasian plates. Till date, different cultures can be seen meeting, interacting or even conflicting in the Himalayas. Some peaks of the Himalayas are sacred to Hinduism, some peaks are sacred to Buddhism; Pakistan, India and China are in conflict in certain areas of the Himalayas; Kashmir, Nepal, North-East (India), three important geo-political territories are also witnessing political insurgency and conflict. Latest tragedy in Uttrakhand brought the world’s attention to the Himalayas and raised environmental concerns. It also raised questions about the negative effects of mindless developmentalism, tourism and commercialism to the environment.
This panel invites critical papers exploring themes of conflict, environmental degradation, tourist fetishization and commodification of the Himalayas through films and media. Scholars can also look into how different regions of the Great Himalayas or the lower Himalayas have been represented in the films. The scholars can explore whether the Himalayas are a cultural or ethnographic space for them, or whether the Himalayas only add scenic beauty to films reducing them to mere commodity meant for the consumption of the spectators. Scholars can problematize the role played by films and media in changing, shaping or influencing our attitude towards the Himalayas.
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