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Looking at Monsoon Wedding


Speaker to Examine Gender, Nation And Globalization In Bollywood

UCLA’s Jenny Sharpe Examines Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding

(May 21, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu)-- Jenny Sharpe, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, will be presenting her paper on the controversial Bollywood film, Monsoon Wedding, at 4 p.m., Monday May 24, in room 1500 of the Humanities Building at the University of California, Riverside. The free presentation is open to the public. For details, contact the Center for Ideas and Society at (909) 787-3987.

Sharpe’s approach to Monsoon Wedding takes the view of the film as a feminist response to the standard sugarcoated family melodramas of the Indian film industry. Normally, Bombay cinema, known popularly as Bollywood, produces films that depict the generic love story. In Monsoon Wedding, filmmaker Mira Nair tries to clear a space for women’s desires and points of view.

Sharpe argues that the film’s splitting of femininity along class lines reveals the limits of Nair’s feminist vision and the ideological transformation that took place in shifting from an elimination of rural poverty to the transnational culture of India’s elite class.

Sharpe has authored numerous books, including Allegories of Empire: The figure of Woman in the Colonial Text (University of Minnesota Press 1993), which analyzes how problems of imperialism play out in narratives of sexual violence. More recently, Ghosts of Slavery: A Literary Archaeology of Black Women’s Lives (University of Minnesota Press 2003), challenges the mindset equating action with resistance and self-determination, and introduces new ways to examine women’s negotiations for power within the constraints of slavery.

Humanities 1500 is on the UCR online campus map at http://www.campusmap.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/mapit.cgi?loc=XH15, or by asking the attendant at the parking kiosk at the University Avenue entrance to campus. Parking Permits are available at the Kiosk and cost $6 per day, $5 daily after 4 p.m. Also, hourly permits are available from the dispenser in visitor lot 2.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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