This paper will offer a critical and textual reading of the Bollywood star actor Shah Rukh Khan (aka SRK) as an emblem of the rise of post-1990s Bollywood cinema amidst issues of globalisation in India and its diasporas. It will 'unthink' what it means to undertake a study of 'SRK and Global Bollywood', not least as these two related signifiers have been commented on in various media and state discourses as prospering. The argument will draw on elements of star studies to consider and analyze how the star is textually constituted on-screen. This will be coupled with a media assemblage analysis that will aim to reveal the workings of the Bollywood cinematic medium as an assembly of different filmic and pro-filmic events around the SRK star signifier. The films Veer Zaara (2004) and Billu (2009) will be used as cases in point. In short, how might we productively articulate the relationship/s between SRK and Global Bollywood and what are the social and cultural implications of this?
Dr Rajinder Dudrah is Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Manchester, where he also served as Head of Department of Drama (2007-2010). He has researched and published widely in international journals in Film, Media and Cultural Studies. His books include, amongst others, Bollywood Travels (Routledge, 2012); Bhangra: Birmingham and Beyond (Punch Records, 2007); Bollywood: Sociology Goes to the Movies (Sage Publications, 2006) and The Bollywood Reader (with Jigna Desai, Open University Press, 2008), and Theorising World Cinema (with Lucia Nagib and Chris Perriam, IB Tauris, 2011). He is also the founding co-editor of the journal South Asian Popular Culture (Routledge).