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Visions of Empire and Other Imaginings

Cinema, Ireland and India 1910-1962

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Jeannine Woods

This book was shortlisted for the ESSE Junior Scholars book award for Cultural Studies in English, 2012

Since its inception cinema has served as a powerful medium that both articulates and intervenes in visions of identity. The experiences of British colonialism in Ireland and India are marked by many commonalities, not least in terms of colonial and indigenous imaginings of the relationships between colony or former colony and imperial metropolis. Cinematic representations of Ireland and India display several parallels in their expressions and contestations of visions of Empire and national identity. This book offers a critical approach to the study of Ireland’s colonial and postcolonial heritage through a comparative exploration of such filmic visions, yielding insights into the operations of colonial, nationalist and postcolonial discourse.
Drawing on postcolonial and cultural theory and employing Bakhtin’s concept of dialogism, the author engages in close readings of a broad range of metropolitan and indigenous films spanning an approximately fifty-year period, exploring the complex relationships between cinema, colonialism, nationalism and postcolonialism and examining their role in the (re)construction of Irish and Indian identities.

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Contents

Extract

Acknowledgements ix Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 Orientalism, Celticism and the Emergence of Cinema 9 CHAPTER 2 Imperial Imaginings 29 CHAPTER 3 Nationalism and Pre-Independence Cinema 83 CHAPTER 4 Cinema and Nation-Building 121 CHAPTER 5 The Nation and its Supplements 169 Conclusion 197 Bibliography 203 Filmography 211 Index 215

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