Anustup Basu

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Personal profile

Research Interests


  • Indian Cinema, Philosophy of the New Media, Film Theory, Third Cinema (especially Hong Kong, China, the African continent, Iran, and India), Globalization theories, Post-colonial studies, Marxism, and Post-structuralism.


  • Theories of the Novel, Modern Bengali fiction and poetry, Indian artistic and literary modernisms of the 19th century, Classical Indian Philosophy, Composition and Rhetoric, Argumentative Writing.

Personal profile

Anustup Basu is an Associate Professor in English, Media and Cinema Studies, and Criticism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Bollywood in the Age of New Media: The Geo-televisual Aesthetic (Edinburgh, 2010) and the co-editor of the volumes InterMedia in South Asia: The Fourth Screen (Routledge, 2012) and Figurations in Indian Film (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013). His essays on film, media, culture, philosophy, and politics have appeared in journals like boundary 2, Semiotic Inquiry, Journal of Human Rights, Postscript, South Asian History and Culture, PostModern Culture, and Critical Quarterly. As a film producer, he made the Bengali feature Herbert (2005) which won the Indian National Award for the Best Regional Film. He has worked as a screenwriter for film and television.

Professional Information

Currently I am finishing up two books:


Nehruvian Cinema: Bombay and Bengal (1955-1962): a wide ranging theoretical study on the themes of Nationhood, Modernity, and Counter-Memory in Hindi and Bengali films made between 1955 and 1962. And Hindutva and Advertised Modernization: a genealogical study of the invention of Hinduism as a ‘Monotheism’ in the modern era. This Semitic ordering of a million different forms of piety was deemed essential for the emergence of a national sense of Hindu peopleness and demographic identity. The book looks at an earlier literary moment of this project and then an advertised/mediatized form of metropolitan Hinduness that has come to the fore in recent times.

Essays forthcoming or in development:

“The Pathos of Decisionist Desire: Contemporary India and the Specter of Narendra Modi.” Solicited for boundary 2.

Filmfare, Cosmopolitanism, and Bombay Cinema of the Fifties” solicited for an anthology tentatively entitled Industrial Networks of Indian Cinema

I am also working towards a political philosophy of our digital information environment and its relations with war, consensus, and liberalism

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  • 1 Similar Profiles
cinema Social Sciences
nationalism Social Sciences
modernity Social Sciences
monotheism Social Sciences
caste Social Sciences
figuration Social Sciences
South Asia Social Sciences
femininity Social Sciences

Research Output 1995 2020

Hindutva as Political Monotheism

Basu, A., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Duke University Press.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Modern Era

“Filmfare, Cosmopolitanism, and Bombay Cinema of the Fifties”

Basu, A., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Industrial Networks and Indian Cinema. Mukherjee, M. & Mehta, M. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dharmendra Singh Deol, Masculinity, and the Late-Nehruvian Hero in Hindi Cinema

Basu, A., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Indian Film Stars. Lawrence, M. (ed.). London: BFI

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Filmfare and the question of Bengali cinema (1955–65)

Basu, A., Apr 3 2018, In : South Asian History and Culture. 9, 2, p. 141-158 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

film industry

Afterword: A Note on Mythic Figuration in Classical Hindi Film

Sen, M. & Basu, A., 2013, Figurations in Indian Film. Sen, M. & Basu, A. (eds.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 268-278

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Activities 2010 2019

  • 13 Invited talk
  • 3 Oral presentation

Mumbai Noir and the Global Crime Film

Anustup Basu (Invited speaker)
Apr 12 2016

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Human Rights and the Hindi Crime Film

Anustup Basu (Invited speaker)
Mar 14 2015

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Cosmopolitanism and Bombay Film of the Fifties

Anustup Basu (Speaker)
Mar 2018

Activity: Talk typesOral presentation

“Hindutva and Advertised Monotheism”

Anustup Basu (Speaker)
Sep 29 2018

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

“New Imaginations of Time in Popular Hindi Cinema of the Nineties”

Anustup Basu (Speaker)
Feb 24 2011

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk