Race in Bollywood

November 6, 2013
The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of activities celebrating International Education Week from November 11-15.

The lecture will focus on the portrayal of race in popular music in India and its connection with notions of caste, ethnicity and complexion. Using examples from Bollywood songs, Caldwell will also discuss recent portrayals of African-American communities in Indian popular culture, as well as recent Bollywood musical collaborations with African-American artists like Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Akon, Snoop Dog and Ludacris. 

Caldwell's research interests include South Asian film and media, comparative musicology, compositional theory, second language learning and technology, and poetry and poetics. He is fluent in Hindi and Urdu and teaches all levels of these languages, as well as courses in South Asian music and culture at UNC-Chapel Hill.   He also was on the team that developed the language-learning websites "Darvazah: A Door into Urdu" and "A Door into Hindi."  Co-director of the UNC Summer in India Student Abroad Program since 1999, Caldwell has traveled to India and Pakistan many times. 

Caldwell is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, earned his M.A. in bassoon performance at the University of Michigan, and a M.B.A. from Yale University.  In addition to teaching, Caldwell is currently a candidate for a Ph.D. in Musicology at UNC Chapel Hill.   He is also a semi-professional musician playing multiple instruments.

Caldwell will be a visiting scholar at WSSU for two days as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities funded project on integrating India into the liberal arts curriculum.  In addition to his public lecture, Caidwell will also conduct a workshop for WSSU faculty on diversity in Indian music. 

Other key activities during the Internal Education Week include and International Film Festival with films on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The Brazilian film "Daughters of the Wind" will be the feature on Monday, November 11, at 3 p.m. in Room 325 of the Hall-Patterson Building; Wednesday's film will be "Maangamizl: The Ancient One," in Swahili with English subtitles, at 7 p.m. in Room 228 of the Hall Patterson Building; the film on Friday, November 15, will be the Bollywood blockbuster "Three Idiots," in Hindi with English subtitles, at 3 p.m. in Room 136 of the R. J. Reynolds Building

Among other events will be a keynote presentation from the WSSU School of Health Sciences featuring Dr. Waneese Alamir, visiting scholar in physical therapy from Cairo University, who will be speaking on healthcare in Egypt and Dr. Bob Cowie, professor of physical therapy, who will present reflections on his visit to Cairo.  The session will be at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, in the F. L. Atkins Building.

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