Outside the Lettered City Cinema, Modernity, and the Public Sphere in Late Colonial India

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-11-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $112.00 Save up to $16.80
  • Rent Book $95.20
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Outside the Lettered City traces how middle-class Indians responded to the rise of the cinema as a popular form of mass entertainment in early 20th century India, focusing on their preoccupation with the mass public made visible by the cinema and with the cinema's role as a public sphere and a mass medium of modernity. It draws on archival research to uncover aspirations and anxieties about the new medium, which opened up tantalizing possibilities for nationalist mobilization on the one hand, and troubling challenges to the cultural authority of Indian elites on the other. Using case-studies drawn from the film cultures of Bombay and Kolkata, it demonstrates how discourses about the cinematic public dovetailed into discourses about a national public, giving rise to considerable excitement about cinema's potential to democratize the public sphere beyond the limits of print-literate culture, as well as to deepening anxieties about cultural degeneration. The case-studies also reveal that early twentieth century discourses about the cinema contain traces of a formative tension in Indian public culture, between visions of a deliberative public and spectres of the unruly masses.

Author Biography

Manishita Dass is Lecturer in World Cinema at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Rewards Program

Write a Review