I am primarily a scholar of photography and film in South Asia. In my first book, I combined film and photographic history, media archaeology, and close textual analysis to offer an account of the imaginaries that shaped the cinema's origins and continue to shape its presence in India today. Since then, I have written auteurist essays on Indian film directors, on the functions of photography in studio-era film production in 1930s Bombay, and am currently revising an essay on an Indian queer film.
At the undergraduate level, I regularly teach courses on film analysis that combine film theory and close analysis; on film history (1930-1960), and on South Asian cinema. At the graduate level, I have taught the following seminars: Melodrama, Film and the Photographic Imaginary, Comparative Film Studies, the Cinemas of Small Nations, and Theorizing the Image in the Global South (Spring 2021). I continue to be interested in the cinemas of the smaller film-producing countries of the world, whether from South-East Asia, South Asia, or Africa, and increasingly incorporate these films in my teaching.
Two of my recent public-facing engagements with cinema can be found here and here. I have given public talks on Indian cinema at MoMA, and the Seattle Art Museum and have moderated discussions at Seattle's South Asian Film Festival (Tasveer).
An annotated visual archive of South Asian film memorabilia, and a planned multi-year collaborative research project (2021-24) organized by EHESS (Paris) on the photographic histories of India and China, are part of my upcoming and ongoing projects.
- Mahadevan, Sudhir. 2018. A Very Old Machine: the Many Origins of the Cinema in India. Permanent Black/Orient Longman, India.
- Mahadevan, Sudhir, and Anuja Jain. “The Poetics of Indian Cinema: Introduction.” Screen (London), vol. 58, no. 1, 2017, pp. 59–63.
- Mahadevan, Sudhir. 2017. "Authorship, Industry and the Intermedial Relay: the Films of Vidhu Vinod Chopra", in Vishwamohan, Aysha Iqbal, and John, Vimal Mohan. Behind the Scenes : Contemporary Bollywood Directors and Their Cinema. SAGE. 79-97.
- Sudhir Mahadevan. A Very Old Machine: the Many Origins of the Cinema in India (SUNY Press)
- Mahadevan, Sudhir. “Traveling Showmen, Makeshift Cinemas.” BioScope South Asian Screen Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2010, pp. 27–47.
Summer 2017 A-term
Summer 2016 A-term
Summer 2015 A-term
Summer 2014 A-term
Summer 2013 A-term
- Abderrahmane Sissako "In Conversation: African Worlds / World Films" - November 9, 2020
- Sudhir Mahadevan to host Cine Club session on June 24th. - June 4, 2013