Debashree Mukherjee works on modern South Asian visual cultures and industries, with a focus on late colonial Bombay cinema. Her research explores the relations between bodies, production practices, aesthetics, and technology within specific media ecologies. Her current book manuscript, Parallel Action: Bombay Cinema and the Practice of Modernity (1929-1945), investigates the relationship between a consolidating film industry and a nation on the verge of political independence, using the lens of material practice.

Debashree has published in various academic journals and anthologies, and is a core editor with the peer-reviewed journal, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. Trained as a filmmaker, she has worked in Bombay’s film and television industries on projects such as Omkara (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj, 2006). Committed to the missions of public and digital humanities, Debashree curated an exhibition of Indian film ephemera titled Maya Mahal in 2013, and is actively involved with the online film annotation platform


Ph.D in Cinema Studies, New York University (2015); M.Phil in Cinema Studies, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (2009); M.A in Mass Communication, Jamia Millia Islamia University (2004).


Cinemas of India; Visual Cultures of Modern South Asia; Media Practices in India and China (with Ying Qian); Cinematic Cities | Comparative Modernities; Cinema and Colonialism

Select Publications

2016. ‘Tracking Film Utopias: Technology, Labor, and Secularism in Bombay Cinema (1930s-1940s),’ in A Rao and A Rajagopal (eds.) Media/Utopia: Imagination, History, Technology, Routledge - Critical Interventions in Theory and Practice.

2016. ‘Scandalous Evidence: Looking for the Bombay Film Actress in an Absent Archive (1930s-1940s),’ in C Gledhill & J Knight (eds.) Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinema’s Past and Future, University of Illinois Press.

2014. Filmi Jagat, A Scrapbook: Shared Universe of Early Hindi Cinema. With K Bhaumik and R Allana. New Delhi: Art Heritage & Niyogi Books.

2013. ‘Creating Cinema’s Reading Publics: The Emergence of Film Journalism in 1930s and 1940s Bombay,’ in R Sundaram (ed.) No Limits: Media Studies from India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 165-198.

2013. ‘Notes on a Scandal: Writing Women's Film History Against an Absent Archive,’ in BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 4(1), pp. 9-30.

2013. ‘The Politics of Making Uncanny: Two Recent Experimental Films from India,’ in N Van Tomme (ed.) Art Papers, January/February, pp. 33-35.

2013. ‘Out of Sight: Archiving Hidden Histories of Film Practice,’ in Art Connect, 7(1), pp. 42-59.

2011. ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman: The Film Actress in Late Colonial Bombay,’ in N Dinkar (ed.) Framing Women: Gender in the Colonial Archive, MARG Special issue, 62(4), pp. 54-65.

2010. ‘A Material World: Notes on an Interview with Ram Tipnis,’ in BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 1(2), pp. 199-205. Peer-reviewed.

2009. ‘Good Girls, Bad Girls,’ in A Sethi (ed.) Circuits of Cinema, Seminar special issue, 598, pp. 21-27.

2007. ‘Rented Space: Peripheral Economies of the Bombay Film Industry,’ trans. into Hindi by Amar, in R Kumar (ed.) Media City 03: Network Sanskriti. New Delhi: Sarai-CSDS, pp. 22-25.

2005. ‘Film Production: Tales From the Margins,’ trans. into Hindi by M Pandya, in R Kumar (ed.) Media City 02: Ubharta Manzar. New Delhi: Sarai-CSDS, pp. 25-35.