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Ajay Gehlawat

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Theatre & Film

Ajay Gehlawat
Ajay Gehlawat



Carson 33

Selected Course Offerings

Bollywood and Globalization (LIBS 209)
Minorities in American Cinema (LIBS 204)
Contemporary Hindi Cinema (LIBS 320C)
The James Bond Phenomenon (LIBS 320D)
Stardom and Cinema (LIBS 320C)


Ph.D., Theatre and Film, City University of New York Graduate Center
M.A., Cinema Studies, New York University
B.A., English, UC Berkeley

Academic Interests

My research and teaching interests range from international cinema and film theory to
transnational forms of popular culture and cultural identity. My primary areas of expertise
include non-Western cinemas, particularly popular Hindi cinema, aka Bollywood; film and
postcolonial theory; feminism and film; South Asian diasporic studies; and critical cultural
studies. I am also interested in representations of race and ethnicity in American cinema; film
and politics; and, more broadly, the global circulation of popular cinemas and cultures.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Bollypolitics: Popular Hindi Cinema and Hindutva. Bloomsbury, forthcoming.
The Evolution of Song and Dance in Hindi Cinema (co-edited with Rajinder Dudrah). Routledge,
Twenty-First Century Bollywood. Routledge, 2015.
The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology (Editor). Anthem, 2013. 
Reframing Bollywood: Theories of Popular Hindi Cinema. Sage, 2010.

“Disco Nazia: disarticulating female playback and the heroine in early 80s Hindi cinema.” South
Asian History and Culture 14:3 (2023):
“Female Bonds in Bollywood.” International Journal of James Bond Studies 5:1 (2022):
“Hungama ho gaya? (An uproar has happened?): the erotic threat of female intoxication in Hindi
film songs.” Feminist Media Studies 23:3 (2023):
“Plus-Size Femininity: The Multiple Figurations of Bhumi Pednekar.” Bollywood’s New Woman:
Liberalization, Liberation and Contested Bodies. Ed. Megha Anwer & Anupama Arora. Rutgers
University Press, 2021. 107-117.
“From Indianization to Globalization: Tracking Bond in Bollywood.” The Cultural Life of James
Bond: Specters of 007. Ed. Jaap Verheul. Amsterdam University Press, 2020. 61-79. 
“Having It Both Ways: The Janus-Like Career of Kareena Kapoor.” Stardom in Contemporary
Hindi Cinema: Celebrity and Fame in Globalized Times. Ed. Aysha Viswamohan & Clare
Wilkinson. Springer, 2020. 89-104.
“Main Hoon Farah: The Choreographer as Auteur." Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Bollywood
Directors and their Cinema. Ed. Aysha Viswamohan & Vimal John. Sage, 2017. 3-16.
“From Vamp to Queen: The Remixed Sound of the Bollywood Scene.” Music in Contemporary
Indian Film: Memory, Voice, Identity. Ed. Jayson Beaster-Jones & Natalie Sarrazin. Routledge,
2016. 49-60.
“The Strange Case of The Princess and the Frog: Passing and the Elision of Race.” Journal of
African American Studies 14:4 (2010): 417-431.                                                                                                                                  
“Goris in the Story: On the Shifting Dynamics of Whiteness in Bollywood.” Center for South
Asia Studies, UC Berkeley, CSAS Public Lecture Series, March 2012.