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Anustup Basu



Anustup Basu is a Professor in English, Media and Cinema Studies, and Criticism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of  Hindutva as Political Monotheism (Duke University Press, 2020), Bollywood in the Age of New Media: The Geotelevisual 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, having recently co-written the upcoming Hindi feature film Nazarbandh (2019) which is official entry at the 2020 Busan Film Festival.

Research Interests

Film and Media, the political philosophy of information, postcolonial theory, digital cultures, science and technology. 

Research Description

Basu is currently working on two book projects:

Nehruvian Cinema: Bombay and Bengal (1955-1962) (tentative title): This is a wide ranging theoretical study on the themes of Nationhood, Modernity, and Memory in Hindi and Bengali films made between 1955 and 1962. 

The Phenomenology of Information: Film Theory in the Age of Digital and New Media (tentative title): A monograph on the philosophical dimensions of our digital information environment and its relations with war, consensus, and political liberalism



Awards and Honors

Criticism and Interpretive Theory Senior Research Fellow (2018-2020), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, English
Professor, Media and Cinema Studies
Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Professor, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Highlighted Publications

Basu, A. (2020). Hindutva as Political Monotheism. Duke University Press.

Basu, A. (2010). Bollywood in the Age of New Media: The Geo-televisual Aesthetic. Edinburgh University Press.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Recent Publications

Basu, A. (2023). Islam and the Orientalist Vision in Padmaavat. Journal of Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society, 7(2), 118-137.

Basu, A. (2023). Orientalism’s Hinduism, Orientalism’s Islam, and the Twilight of the Subcontinental Imagination. Religions, 14(8), Article 1034.

Basu, A. (2023). Re-Texturing the Past: The Digital Image and the Contemporary Bollywood Historical. In S. Gopinath, & R. Deshmukh (Eds.), Historicizing Myths in Contemporary India: Cinematic Representations and Nationalist Agendas in Hindi Cinema (pp. 64-80). Routledge India.

Basu, A. (2021). Hindutva 2.0 as information ecology. In I. Keul (Ed.), Spaces of Religion in Urban South Asia (Routledge South Asian Religion Series). Routledge.

Basu, A. (2021). The Popular. BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 12(1-2), 144-147.

View all publications on Illinois Experts