Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity

Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School 2018 @ Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Dates: 18- 29 JUNE 2018.


Think modernism, political strife, street fighting, literature, theatre, and cinema – and think one Indian city. This Summer School is set in, and is about, one of the most emblematic of them all: Calcutta. Returning to the original name before it was changed in 2001, we refer to the colonial port city that was once capital of British India, and the city where, through the twentieth century, some of the most intense debates in history were played out: around colonialism, nationalism, partition, suffering, refugeehood, along side its intense articulation through literature, theatre and cinema.


Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity is a two-week multidisciplinary Summer School hosted by the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2018. The School uses several converging spaces that make up the moving image across South Asia both physically and metaphorically meaningful. From College Street, the local book publishing area, to famous ‘Tollywood’ movie studios, and from the Kalighat temple, site of one of India’s best known ‘bazaar’ painting traditions, we engage with spaces where modern public life emerged, and morphed into new spaces for making and distributing diverse cultural contents. On the way we will encounter architecture, film, contemporary literary modes, public art, musical forms, television, video and other media, from print through to digital.


The course features several contemporary debates that have informed the city’s intellectual traditions as much as they have defined the spaces of their action: its streets and public spaces, its coffee houses, bazaars, and its universities. Lectures on scholarship on the city, its political history, culture, and contemporary media practices, will take place alongside walks in actual spaces showing how Calcutta’s twentieth century unfolded, and where its key present-day struggles lie. While the city’s past and present will be the main focus, our sessions will address the intense Inter-Asia links and will include discussions of comparable Asian locations such as Dhaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and other ports and cities.


Speakers include Partha Chatterjee, M. Madhava Prasad, Tejaswini Niranjana, Stephen Chan, Melani Budianta, Soyoung Kim, Moinak Biswas, Abhijit Roy, Firdous Azim, Kuan-Hsing Chen, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Nishant Shah, Madhuja Mukherjee, Audrey Yue, Naifei Ding, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, and many others.


Coordinator: Madhuja Mukherjee, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University (email:

Summer School Team: Subhajit Chatterjee and Arijeet Mandal.


Departmental faculty: Moinak Biswas, Abhijit Roy, Anindya Sengupta, Manas Ghosh, Subhajit Chatterjee, Shradhanjali Tamang, Arijeet Mandal, Madhuja Mukherjee.




Course fees:

USD 200 for international participants.

This would include ‘double-sharing’ accommodation at Jadavpur University Guest House (June 17th check-in, June 30th check-out), welcome dinner, lunches (during classes/ week days), tea/ coffee, and transportation for most off-campus tours.


USD 100 for local participants. (Local participants will not be offered accommodation).


Fee Waiver: Very limited ‘Fee Waiver’ is available for those in need.

(In such cases the participants will not be offered accommodation. However, we can help you find cheap/ reasonable accommodation).


Note, IACS Society will not be able to support your travel.


Important Dates:

  • Application deadline – 2nd February 2018
  • Acceptance announcement – 24th February 2018
  • Deadline of offer confirmation by students – 24th March 2018


Application Procedure:

Please provide the following information in your application form and send it to the IACSS Society Office by email to before 2nd February 2018

  1. Name, age, sex
  2. Affiliated Institution and current programme of study / teaching position
  3. Areas of academic / research interests
  4. Have you participated in previous IACSS Summer Schools? If yes, where and when?
  5. Reasons for joining this particular Summer School
  6. Expectations from this Summer School
  7. Reference letter from your supervisor /an appropriate senior colleague (Please attach pdf )
  8. If you need fee waiver please write to us about your needs.

Download: 2018 IACSS Summer School Application Form

4 responses to “Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity”

  1. Yeling Wang Avatar
    Yeling Wang

    Dear teachers:
    I’m a graduate student from Chongqing University’ s Institution for Advance Studies in Humanities and Social Science. My name is Yeling Wang. What you are going to offer in this summar is really fascinating! My major is about literature theory, and I really want to have a chance to learn from all of you:)

  2. Abir Mazumder Avatar
    Abir Mazumder

    May I apply? I just found this advertisement today. I would be highly obliged because the focus area has both a personal thirst to know about the city that has been my home for many a year and a political focus because it is intertwined with my academic research of choice.

  3. Abir Mazumder Avatar
    Abir Mazumder

    I am terribly sorry, but may I apply? I only saw the advertisement yesterday. It would be a huge help with my thesis.