Indian comics as public culture
Author(s)Das, Abhimnanyu, S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Comparative Media Studies.
Henry Jenkins III.
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The Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) series of comic books have, since 1967, dominated the market for domestic comic books in India. In this thesis, I examine how these comics function as public culture, creating a platform around which groups and individuals negotiate and re-negotiate their identities (religious, class, gender, regional, national) through their experience of the mass-media phenomenon of ACK. I also argue that the comics, for the most part, toe a conservative line - drawing heavily from Hindu nationalist schools of thought. In order to demonstrate these arguments, I examine selected groups of ACK titles closely in the first two chapters. I perform a detailed content analysis of these comics, considering the ways in which they draw upon history and primary texts, the artistic and editorial choices as well the implications of these decisions. In the third chapter, I draw a picture of the consumption of these comics, studying the varying interpretations and reactions that fans across generations have had to the works, connecting their conversations to my argument about ACK as public culture. In doing so, I hope to demonstrate the extent of ACK's role in the popular imagination of its large readership as well as the part it plays in the negotiation of their identities as Indians.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Comparative Media Studies, 2009.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Comparative Media Studies.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comparative Media Studies.