Call for Papers – Sholay at 45, Birmingham City University, UK, April 8, 2020

August 2020 will mark 45 years of the film Sholay (1975). Written by Salim-Javed, produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by Ramesh Sippy, it is arguably one of the most popular films of modern Hindi cinema. In almost any audience or industry list of “What is your Top 10 favourite Bollywood film of all time?” Sholay is invariably in the Top 3, if not in the number one position. Made and released during a turbulent time in Indian politics – alleged State corruption and violence, curbing of freedom of the Press, food, fuel and labour shortages, communal tensions, leading to the controversial Emergency declared by then Indian PM Indira Gandhi – the film mixes a range of genres in its overarching masala blend. From action, to melodrama, romance, to spaghetti western, the film is set in a fictitious village where two outlaws are hired, Jai and Veeru, to enact out a revenge story against the bandit Gabbar Singh. To mark the ongoing popularity and fascination of this film with audiences around the world, the journal of South Asian Popular Culture will be hosting a one-day symposium to critically assess and celebrate Sholay during its 45th milestone.

Papers presented at the symposium will be invited to be developed as peer reviewed articles or Working Notes entries for a special issue of the journal to be published in 2021.

We invite a range of presentations from contemporary film, media and cultural studies perspectives, including and not limited to:

  • Sholay’s Indian, diasporic, transnational, and global travels.
  • Sholay trivia, cinephilia and fandom.
  • The cinematic language of Sholay (e.g. camerawork, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, writing, dialogue and performances).
  • Sholay and Representation (e.g. of the nation, banditry, secularism, retribution, gender and sexuality, bromance, law and order).
  • Teaching Sholay.
  • Sholay spin-offs, subcultures and remakes.
  • Sholay and new media assemblages.
  • Intertextuality and Sholay.
  • Sholay’s songs, dance and musicality.
  • The Stars of Sholay.
  • Sholay and popular Indian cinema history.

Abstract Deadline: 30 November 2019. 250-300 words. Please include an additional 75 words author’s biography with your abstract. Successful participants will be notified of acceptance by early January 2020.

There will be a small conference registration fee. Morning teas and coffees, lunch and light refreshments will be provided on the day. Accommodation, if required, is to be arranged by the selected delegates themselves and a hotel list will be made available near to the BCU city centre campus.

To discuss your submission, please contact the Co-Editors of this venture:
Professor Rajinder Dudrah – /
Dr Omar Ahmed –

SAPC journal website here.