An International Conference on Visual Cultures in Contexts: Affect, Subversion and Resistance

Department of Media Studies

CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore

in collaboration with


19 - 20 February 2020

Christ University, Bangalore, India

About the Conference

Keynote Speaker:


Renowned film theorist and feminist, Laura Mulvey is currently the professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Prof. Mulvey was the Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College in 2008. She has three honorary doctoral degrees: Doctor of Letters from the University of East Anglia; Doctor of Law from Concordia University; and Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin. She has been with the British Film Institute for many years. Widely acknowledged for her theory of ‘Male gaze’ and the essay entitled “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, Prof. Mulvey is a seminal figure in the realm of psychoanalytic film theory with Jean-Louis Baudry and Christian Metz. She is well known for her avant-garde films co-wrote and co-directed with Peter Wollen such as Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (1974), Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), AMY! (1980), Crystal Gazing (1982), Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1982), and The Bad Sister (1982).

Conference Note

Contemporary approaches to visual cultural practices has turned out to be a much debated, contested and conflicting terrain as their ramifications are too vivid that incorporate digressive and derivative modalities of locales, regions, spaces, sub-spaces and other niches of many micro-histories. In this context, contemporary visual cultural studies have a whole gamut of deliberations on cultural spaces/ places/ practices/ expressions/ extinctions/ delineations, which continually urge us to rethink a set of standard cultural collocations. Visual cultures, therefore, are products of a certain sense of legitimization and control – that is, something that is recognized through a sense of making the idea of ‘vision’ a monolithic entity. At the same time, the deep rooted divisions – both geographically and politically constituted, have created these visual cultures as a product of doubts, suspicions and something that constantly offers a critique of identities and other related discourses. How then can one contextualize and theorize visual cultures? What can be the probable parameters by which one can look at the varied and dissipated modes of visual cultures? Upon what grounds can one situate the aesthetics of visuality and challenge certain hegemonic notions of culture? How does this visual culture differ from other cultural practices and relations from across of the globe?
This conference on Visual Cultures fundamentally will try to open up a set of discourses connected to levels and platforms of visuality in tandem with recent debates on visual cultures. People increasingly confront a number of visual modes as contemporaneity tries to forefront a set of particular visual cultures in connection with art, religion, ritual, politics, film and mass media. However, a number of other visual fields connected to ethnography, anthropology, narratives, environment, ecology, academia, technology, cyber world, music and sub-sections of the peripheral, in such a context, are definitely occluded. It is the aim of this conference to reconfigure the textures and visualities of such cultures – in other words, realign those that go ‘invisible’ from the dominant representation of the visible spaces. More than creating a set of binaries to constitute one particular methodology of practices, spaces, expressions and approaches, this conference will open up its platform for ways and methods of developing counter-currents to the / discourses of the hegemonic and the privileged/ authentic/ legitimized. The past and present history of hermeneutics of visual cultures constitute our imagination and everyday life in ways which are neither fully neutral nor solely technical, but as suggested by Arjun Appadurai “shot through with affect and sensation”.
Affect seems to be one of the most important philosophical and theoretical dimensions of the visual in life in South Asia as it is inextricably blended with ideas, desires, paradigms, expressions and systemic production of ideas. However, in close relation to this, there are problems deeply connected to interpretation as some of these issues challenge the level of perceiving the visual cultures time and again. It is immensely significant to explore the complex and conflictual terrain of visuality, vision, visual cultures and visibility in our time. The proposed conference envisages to theorize and problematize the domains of seeing, subjectivity and desire. As contemporary visual cultures operate across numerous levels and layers, we invite responses from people from all disciplines, professions and vocations. This conference will be inclusively interdisciplinary in nature and will open space for a dialogue and wrestle with questions that cross the boundaries of the intellectual, emotional and personal.

Plenary Speakers

Piyush Roy

Dr. Piyush Roy is an Indian National Film Award critic, columnist, International curator, scholar, poet, photographer and filmmaker. He’s been the writer of two popular film columns, Sunday Talkies with Orissa Post (2011-2018), and Soul Cinema with The Times of India Speaking Tree (2018 onwards) and is also the author of two works of fiction – Never Say Never Again (2007) and Alexander – An Epic Love Story (2007). Mr. Roy was honoured with ‘Special Mention’ for Best Critic at the 60th Indian National Film Awards (2013) by the President of India and was also a recipient of Sir William Darling Memorial Prize (UK, 2014) among many others.

M D Pallavi Arun

M D Pallavi Arun is a singer from Karnataka, India who is a Sugama Sangeetha Singer, (Playback singer), actor, theatre, TV anchor and a dubbing artist. She won the Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Playback Singer in 2006 and 2007 for her song "Nodayya Kwate Lingave" sung in the 2007 film Duniya. She has won the Aryabhatta "Best Actress" award and was also a cast member in the Indian English language film Stumble (National Award in the Best English Feature Film - 2003).

Prakash Belawadi

Prakash Belawadi is a renowned artist, celebrated actor and National Film Award winning filmmaker, who has worked in not one but several professions, namely, a theatre/film/ television and media personality, a teacher, an activist, a motivational speaker, and a journalist. He is famously known for his remarkable work in films like Kanooru Heggadithi, Talvar, Wazir, Madras Café and Airlift among many other works of art. Mr. Prakash Belawadi’s filmography spans across several language films of Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. He has also been awarded the Karnataka Nataka Academy Award (2011-12) for his contribution to English and Kannada language theatre.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha

Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a film and cultural theorist. He is the co-author of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema and of the book titled Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency. He co-curated the show Bombay/Mumbai 1992-2001 along with Geeta Kapur, part of the Tate Modern’s Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis (2001). ). Many of Ashish Rajadhyaksha’s works include Ritwik Ghatak: A Return the Epic (1982), Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency (2009) and The Last Cultural Mile: An Inquiry into Technology and Governance in India (2011), In the Wake of Aadhaar: the Digital Ecosystem of Governance in India (2013) and The Shock of Desire and Other Essays (Kumar Shahani’s writings, 2015).


Day 1: 19 February 2020

7.30 am Registration (Ground Floor, KE Auditorium))

9.00 am Inauguration (KE Auditorium)

9.30 am Keynote address (KE Auditorium)

11.30 am Paper Presentation (Refer Paper Presentation Schedule)

2.00 pm Plenary session with MD Pallavi (KE auditorium)

3.30pm Paper presentation (Refer Paper Presentation Schedule)

Day 2: 20 February 2020

9.00 am Plenary Session – Ashish Rajadhyaksha in conversation with Rashmi Sawhney (KE Auditorium)

10.00 am Plenary Session – Prakash Belwadi (KE Auditorium)

11.30 am Paper presentation (Refer Paper Presentation Schedule)

2.00 pm Piyush Roy - Screening of film, Followed by Q & A

3.00 pm Valedictory

Paper Presentation | Day One | 19 February 2020

19 Feb 2020 | Panel A | 11.00 am | Room 801

Moderator - Dr. Aasita Bali

  1. LMC 101 | Sethuparvathy. S | Mapping Gender Identities through Travel Narratives: Women in Road Movies
  2. LMC 111 | Ayatree Saha | Embodied Ritual: Explorations of experience of Menarche
  3. LMC 112 | Piuli Basu, Manaswini Ghosh | Art or War?: A Feminist Perspective on Tattooed Women and Body Politics in India
  4. LMC 113 | S Saritha Sasidharan | Sexuality, Body and Choice in Nivedita Menon’s Seeing Like a Feminist

19 Feb 2020 | Panel B | 11.00 am | Room 802

Moderator- Dr. Suparna Naresh

  1. LMC 114 | Meenakshi M | Gender Fluidity: Analysis of Female Characters in Tamil Theatre Therukoothu
  2. LMC 126 | Rafseena M | Reading Female Subjectivity in Select Indian Web Series: A Parallaxian Approach
  3. LMC 139 | Joel Jyothis Tom | Resistance, Celebration and Exploration: An Examination of the Portrayal of Femininity in I Still Hide to Smoke
  4. LMC 185 | Anjali Gera Roy

19 Feb 2020 | Panel C | 11.00 am | Media Lab

Moderator- Dr. Shantharaju S

  1. LMC 164 | Ashwati Kartha; Neha Rajagopal | The Importance of Transnational Feminist Activism in Shaping Modern Global Cultures
  2. LMC 123 | Soham Chakraborty | Encounter with The Real and Subversion of Masculine Authority: A Look into the Cinematic Gaze in Force Majeure
  3. LMC 124 | Akhila Kumaran | Representation of the fishing community in Malayalam cinema: A study of Chemmeen and Kumbalangi nights
  4. LMC 135 | Krishna Prasad M | The Aesthetic Approach Towards Violence in Silver Screen: A Study of the Influence of Quentin Tarantino on Indian Cinema

19 Feb 2020 | Panel D | 11.00 am | Room 915

Moderator- Dr. Kannan S

  1. LMC 163 | Fatema Zohair Diwan | Redefining the Female Gaze in the Bollywood Context
  2. LMC 148 | Salman Riyas |Manipulation of the Un(Real) : Decoding the Black Mirror ‘Images’
  3. LMC 107 | Dr Naresh Kumar Vats | Interaction, Perception and Gaze: A Study of Haryanvi Folk Theatre
  4. LMC 184 | Swetha Sundaran Mangalath | Visualising Culture: Construction And Diffusion Of Imagery Through Classical Dance Broadcast.

19 Feb 2020 | Panel A | 3.00pm | Room 801

Moderator- Dr. Meljo Thomas

  1. LMC 170 | Gayatri Balakrishnan | “Oru Kadha Solta Sir?”: Intertextuality and Postmodernist Preoccupations in the Film Vikram Vedha
  2. LMC 157 | Sruthi Madhu | Guppy and Parava - A Closer look into the representation of indigenous communities
  3. LMC 159 | Midhila Jos | City Space As Archive: A Case Of Fort Cochin
  4. LMC 180 | Gopalakrishnan K K | Theyyam, The Ancient Ritual Folk-art Tradition Of Northern Kerala (India), And The Muslims

19 Feb 2020 | Panel B | 3.00pm | Room 802

Moderator- Dr. Kailash Koushik

  1. LMC 104 | Dr Shuchi Sharma | Contesting Space, Stage and Status: A Study of Select Works by Indian Women Playwrights A Study of Select Works by Indian Women Playwrights
  2. LMC 108 | Aparajith Dinesh | Pictoriality in the Symbiosis of VR and Theatre
  3. LMC 129 | Rani Jana | Ninasam: An Alternative Model to ‘Theatre of Roots’
  4. LMC 140 | Ramya M H | Dancing Beyond Tradition: A Step of Evolution by Mrinalini Sarabhai and Shovana Narayan

19 Feb 2020 | Panel C | 3.00pm | Media Lab

Moderator- Dr. Naresh Rao

  1. LMC 182 | Sindhu Shantha Nair | Media Impact, Social Cognition, Health Effects and the Reality Paradigm
  2. LMC 181 | Prathik Desai and Ishan Fouzdar | Analysis of New Media Approaches on YouTube
  3. LMC 116 | Megha Balu Solanki | Image, Protest and Twitter: An Exploration of Protest Activism through Visual Media on Social Media Platforms
  4. LMC 102 | Damini Kulkarni | Screens and She: Sacred Games and Digital Play

19 Feb 2020 | Panel D | 3.00 pm | Room 915

Moderator- Dr. Rajesh A

  1. LMC 161 | Varsha Dharline V | Cooking up the Korean consciousness in 'Le Grand Chef'
  2. LMC 173 | Annie Swetha S A | Cisnormative Gaze: Heteronormativity and Conformity in the movie The Shape of Water
  3. LMC 149 | Malavika | Changing Consciousness in the Trans-Human Era: Analysing Black Mirror as the Manifestation of ‘The Societies of Influxes’
  4. LMC 142 | Sweta Dash | Interrogating the visuality of sexual violence in India: A study of three recent jarring cases of sexual violence and more

Paper Presentation | Day Two | 20 February 2020

20 Feb 2020 | Panel A | 11.00 am | Room 801

Moderator- Padmakumar M M

  1. LMC 169 | Karunya. U | Subversion through Visual Culture: A Post Modern Reading of Painter of Souls
  2. LMC 134 | Dr. Umar Nizarudeen | Between The Aural And The Ocular: Performative Visual Continuum Of Indigenous Life In Kerala
  3. LMC 153 | Dr. A. Balu Vijayaraghavan | Image, Identity and Society: Understanding Pablo Bartholomew’s ‘The Calcutta Diaries’
  4. LMC 122 | Catherine Shilpa | Nationalism and Revivalism in Tamil Cinema (1939-1950): A Reading of Thyagabhoomi (1939) and Manthiri Kumari (1950)

20 Feb 2020 | Panel B | 11.00 am | Room 802

Moderator- Dr. Anjali Gera Roy, Dr Naresh Kumar Vats

  1. LMC 105 | Sreekutty S | Queer politics in Regionalism: Creating a Lesbian Feminist Space Towards Malayalam Lesbian Films
  2. LMC 106 | Jharna Choudhury | Ingestion Aesthetics of Human-meat: Navigating Ducournau’s 'Raw' (2016) and Hazarika’s 'Aamis'(2019)
  3. LMC 174 | Apoorva Ravi | Breaking Of Societal Taboos By A Queer Independent Film: A Content Analysis Of Evening Shadows

20 Feb 2020 | Panel C | 11.00 am | Media Lab

Moderator- Dr. C S Biju

  1. LMC 119 | Dr G. Alan, J. Caro Velma | A Post-colonial Study Of The Reversal Of The Colonial Stereotypes In Django Unchained
  2. LMC 166 | Aiswarya Anil | The Sentimental Foreigner: Materialization of Affect in the Oriental Portrait of India in Lion (2016) and City of Joy (1992)
  3. LMC 120 | Ananthajith K R | Identity and Citizenship in Russian Emigre Literature
  4. LMC 109 | Gokul K S | Tibetan Exile Cinema: Statelessness, Memory and Cultural Resistance

Special Features

  • Plenary sessions, Panel discussions and Workshops
  • Scholars from across the country
  • Student-friendly environment to receive feedback on your work
  • Opportunity to network with industry and professionals


Seminar Conveners :

Dr Fr Biju K Chacko and Dr C S Biju

Seminar Coordinators:

Anjali: +91 7406209952 | Suparva: +91 8904001739


Accommodation will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis. Early confirmation will be appreciated.

Cost for Accommodation (Per Person per Night)

  • Single room: INR 1000/Day
  • Twin-share: INR 800/Day
  • 4-6 Share: INR 300/Day