Rashna Darius Nicholson

Jun 1, 2022

The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage

The Making of the Theatre of Empire (1853-1893)

Palgrave Macmillan 2021

Rashna Darius Nicholson’s The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage: The Making of the Theatre of Empire (1853-1893) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) is the first comprehensive study of the Parsi theatre, colonial South and Southeast Asia’s most influential cultural phenomenon and the precursor of the Indian cinema industry. By providing extensive, unpublished information on its first actors, audiences, production methods, and plays, this book traces how the theatre - which was one of the first in the Indian subcontinent to adopt European stagecraft - transformed into a pan-Asian entertainment industry in the second half of the nineteenth century. Nicholson sheds light on the motivations that led to the development of the popular, commercial theatre movement in Asia through three areas of investigation: the vernacular public sphere, the emergence of competing visions of nationhood, and the narratological function which women served within a continually shifting socio-political order. The book will be of interest to scholars across several disciplines, including cultural history, gender studies, Victorian studies, the sociology of religion, colonialism, and theatre.

Rituparna Patgiri, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter.

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Rituparna Patgiri

Rituparna Patgiri, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter.

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