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Jyotika Virdi, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. Telecommunication and Film, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  • M.A. Communication, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA & M.S.W. Delhi University, Delhi India.
  • B.A. History Honors, Delhi University, Delhi, India

Research Interests

Film, Cultural, and Postcolonial Studies with an emphasis on India.

Jyotika Virdi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. She is the author of The Cinematic ImagiNation: Social History Through Indian Popular Films (New Brunswick: NJ, Rutgers University Press, 2003 & Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004). Virdi follows developments in new historicism, cultural, and postcolonial studies, which offer compelling and competing theoretical approaches shaping the trajectory of Indian cinema studies--a late arrival in film scholarship. Her theoretical frame accounts for Indian popular cinema’s unique elements, its ingenious adaptation of indigenous and western forms and their constant reconfiguration in response to the changing social-cultural milieu. Her analysis of Indian popular cinema is a mode of reading India’s social and cultural history. Her book is used by instructors teaching courses on Indian cinema.

Jyotika Virdi’s essays on Indian cinema have been published in journals like Film Quarterly, Jump Cut, Screen, and Visual Anthropology as well as several anthologies: Contemporary Asian Cinema (London, U.K.: Berg Publishers, 2006), Killing Women: The Visual Culture of Gender and Violence (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006), Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film
(Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale Publishers, 2006), Global Bollywood (New York: New York University Press, 2008), and 24 Frames: Indian Cinema (London, UK: Wallflower Press, 2009). She has been invited to serve on the editorial board of film and media journals such as Global Media Journal Mediterranean Edition, Journal of Popular Communication, and Studies in South Asian Film and Media.


Jyotika Virdi teaches courses on Cinema History from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century to significant twentieth century developments and film movements. She teaches courses on Media Aesthetics, useful to students interested in producing or analyzing films, a dominant cultural artifact of our time. She also teaches courses on Cinema Discourse and Film Theory that explore multiple approaches to studying films, highlighting fault lines along race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism that shape culture and history. Her primary aim in these courses is to introduce students to cinema studies’ innovative exploration of contemporary culture, challenge conventional wisdom about cinema, and to sharpen perceptions about our cultural environment through creative ways of thinking about and studying film.