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Dr Anuja Jain


My research and teaching interests revolve around South Asian film, media and visual culture; transnational film history; documentary film; Asian Cinemas; film, memory and historical trauma; and film poetics and aesthetics with a special interest in questions of spectatorship.

I completed my Ph.D. from New York University and before coming to St Andrews in 2016, I was a South Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University in Houston, Texas, US.

Currently, I am working on a monograph entitled, States of Emergency: Art, Activism and Political Documentary Film in Postcolonial India. The project analyses the role of Indian documentary cinema in lending representation to religious violence in post-Partition India, with a focus on the 2002 Gujarat genocide. The central focus of the book is to interrogate the ethics and meaning of documentary witnessing, telling and listening in an ‘era of the witness.’ Addressing an aspect of South Asian film and media studies heretofore largely neglected and unstudied, the book seeks to tease out the implications of such a study for the mutually transformative articulation of area studies, trauma studies and transnational film studies.

I am also working on a second book project that focuses on the local and global cinematic histories and sensibilities that informs contemporary Indian cinema.





Articles/Book Chapters

Love Sex Aur Dhoka: A New Morphology of Contemporary Bombay Cinema,” The Poetics of Indian Cinema, Screen, vol. 58, issue 1 (Spring 2017), 98-106.

“Introduction,” The Poetics of Indian Cinema, Screen, eds. Sudhir Mahadevan and Anuja Jain, vol. 58, issue 1  (Spring 2017), 59-63.

“Curious Case of the Films Division: Some Annotations on the Beginnings of Indian Documentary Cinema in Post-Independent India, 1940s-1960s,” The Archive, Special Issue of The Velvet Light Trap, 71 (March 2013), 5-26.

“‘Beaming it live’: 24 hour Television News, the Spectator and the Spectacle of the 2002 Gujarat Carnage,” InterMedia, Special Issue of the Journal of South Asian Popular Culture, Eds. Anustup Basu, Rajinder Dudrah, Sangita Gopal and Amit Rai, vol. 8, no. 2 (July 2010), 163–178.

 “The Melodramatic Imaginings: Representations of Sectarianism in Hindi Popular Cinema and Indian Documentaries,” Narratives of Indian Cinema, ed. Manju Jain (Delhi: Primus, 2009), 85-95.

“Media Against Communalism (India),” The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, ed. John H. Downing (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, October 2010), 319-321.


“‘In Search of the Other Song’: Gender, Sexuality and Subjectivity in Contemporary Indian Documentary Cinema,” Blackwell Companion to Indian Cinema, Eds. Neepa Majumdar and Ranjani Mazumdar.


Research supervision

I would welcome projects from students working in various areas of South Asian cinema and media history, transnational visual and material cultures, film and politics, documentary film with a specific interest in questions of community and public sphere, film spectatorship, and violence and questions of representation.


I am currently supervising: