books of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s-1950s by Neepa Majumdar

Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s-1950s


Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s-1950s by Neepa Majumdar

Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! maps out the early culture of cinema stardom in India from its emergence in the silent era to the decade after Indian independence in the mid-twentieth century. Neepa Majumdar combines readings of specific films and stars with an analysis of the historical and cultural configurations that gave rise to distinctly Indian notions of celebrity. She argues that discussions of early cinematic stardom in India must be placed in the context of the general legitimizing discourse of colonial \u0022improvement\u0022 that marked other civic and cultural spheres as well, and that \u0022vernacular modernist\u0022 anxieties over the New Woman had limited resonance here. Rather, it was through emphatically nationalist discourses that Indian cinema found its model for modern female identities. Considering questions of spectatorship, gossip, popularity, and the dominance of a star-based production system, Majumdar details the rise of film stars such as Sulochana, Fearless Nadia, Lata Mangeshkar, and Nargis


A brilliant, groundbreaking study that illuminates a heretofore little known era of Indian cinema. Its combination of rich historical research, rigorous analysis, and sophisticated critical insight marks the best, most effective film criticism. Corey K. Creekmur, co-editor of Cinema, Law, and the State in Asia This enjoyable study is the only work of its kind on female stardom and Indian cinema. Majumdar examines a crucial turning point in Indian film history with the decline of the studio system, the rise of the star, and the coming of playback singing. Rachel Dwyer, author of Filming the Gods: Religion and Indian Cinema

About the Author

Neepa Majumdar is an associate professor of English and film at the University of Pittsburgh.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

16th October 2009


Neepa Majumdar

More books by Neepa Majumdar
Author 'Like for Like'


University of Illinois Press


272 pages


Films, cinema



The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney