International Conference - Archives of Indian Cinema: Methodologies, Creativities and Urgencies

21st and 22nd October, 2022

Department of Media and Communication Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune

This conference is a part of the UKRI UK-India funded project Creative Archives:Producing, Preserving and Showcasing Transnational India Film Heritage (, which aims to produce a number of public engagement events to scope creative ideas on how to think about archives through co-creative practices. Archives, for a long time, have been conceptual, critical and, certainly, methodological spaces and terrains for historical pathways of research across a range of disciplines in the Humanities and social sciences. Much like in many disciplines, the term archive and archives has been proven to be elastic and flexible in terms of what they form and how they are formed. However, such flexibility inevitably poses the problem of how archives are constituted, what is the responsibility of archivists and what are, in light of the ever-changing panorama of Indian cinema, the policies to make and preserve film history.
Ines Schaber (2019) in Notes on Archives, dedicated to archival practices and methods, draws on a photographic collection from the Wadi Ara Valley in Israel to reflect on how visual archives can shed light on forgotten stories, as well as how archives inherently produce lacunas and silences. By reflecting on the archive as a space of lacunas and consecutively of possibilities, this conference seeks to bring together the first round of conversations pertaining to archival practices, archival urgencies and the development of visible and invisible networks pertaining to film heritage. This network will include collectors, family collectors, citizen and community collectors and more institutional bodies to address unvoiced histories of Indian cinema. Equally, the conference aims to address also the methodological urgencies (Michelle Castwell 2021) beyond the standard liberal archival solution to build a framework that reassess hetero-patriarchal supremacies and inequalities within the realm of film heritage of India.
Unsettling dominating narratives and the centrality of how archives are formed around collections, and how they produce traditional narratives of Indian history across multiple institutions, this conference will interrogate how power – social, political, and institutional – is deployed in archival context in order to build critical understanding of how deeply archives influence and shape the production of knowledge and human subjectivities.
We invite contributors to broadly interrogate how far can we go to define archives of Indian cinema as elastic and flexible?
The paper's aim should be to explore the critical and creative approaches to archives of Indian cinema, both institutional and non-institutional. We would particularly welcome papers that will be able to engage with questions pertaining to restorative
Indian cinema histories, creative histories, non-extractive methodologies, interdisciplinary approaches, and silences and absences in Indian film heritage.
We would like to welcome papers interested in presenting on the following indicativethemes:

  • Material culture, paratexts and archives
  • Family collections
  • Citizen archives of Indian cinema
  • Silences and absences in archives
  • Economies of collections
  • “Special” collections (the special of special collections)
  • Trash archives
  • Neoliberal archives
  • Decolonisation and archival practices
  • Digital archives and digitization
  • Creative approaches to archival studies and strategies
  • Unpacking bias in the study of archives
  • Institutional archives
  • Inequalities in the archives
  • Building and undoing archives
  • Reparative archives
  • Consuming archives

The list of themes provides an orientation for the authors, but it does not intend to be an exhaustive list.

How to apply:
Please send 250 words abstract, including a biographical note, to Dr. Madhavi Reddy ( and Dr. Monia Acciari ( , by the 31st July 2022.

Should you have any queries regarding your submission, do please get in touch with us by mailing or

Important Dates:
Abstract submission Deadline: 31st July 2022
Acceptance Notification: 31st August 2022
Conference Dates: 21st - 22nd October, 2022
Venue: Conference Room, DMCS, Savitribai Phule Pune University

Early submissions are encouraged. Registrations to participate in the conference will be communicated in the first week of October. Kindly note that this is an in-person conference, so that we can go back to interacting personally with all the participants, except under exceptional circumstances, which we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

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