Bollywood and Social Change

(Program Cancelled for 2019)

India: Mumbai, Kolkata, Agra, & Delhi

On-Campus: CD Mod course starting October 17, 2019 

Experiential Component: December 26, 2019 – January 10, 2020

Program Highlights

  • Learn about the world’s largest film industry
  • Course fulfills HM and IC Designations
  • Appreciate the distinctiveness of Bollywood cinema
  • Visit film studio and production sites to understand the creative process of filmmaking
  • Major elective for English and Asian Studies

While Abroad, you will . . .

  • Visit a major film studio in Mumbai
  • Meet with people who work in the film industry
  • Attend workshops on Bollywood dance and music
  • Explore the cultural traditions of two major Indian cities, Mumbai and Kolkata
  • Visit the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa
  • Collaborate with students of St. Xavier’s College on a project
  • Take in the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra

Course and Program Information:

Course Name: Not Just a Song and Dance: Bollywood Cinema and Social Change in India

Course Number: ENGL 385K

Credit Number: 4 credits

Designation: Humanities (HM) & Intercultural (IC)

Course Description:

This course will introduce students to Indian culture and society through a study of popular Indian cinema. The Indian film industry is the largest in the world and wields tremendous power as an economic and cultural force in the country. Focusing primarily on the “Bollywood” film industry based in Mumbai, we will examine how commercial cinema has influenced cultural attitudes and social change in India. The course will highlight how Bollywood films have addressed contentious topics like national identity, gender injustice, and globalization in contemporary India.

The course consists of two parts: The first part, taught over a CD Mod in fall 2019, will introduce students to Bollywood cinema and its impact on Indian society. Following that, students will travel to India for two weeks (Dec. 27-Jan. 9) to experience firsthand the complex mechanisms that fuel this industry. In Mumbai, students will have the opportunity to observe the production and marketing aspects of Bollywood films, visit a studio, meet with people who work in the industry, and attend lectures/workshops given by experts in the field. In Kolkata, students will learn about the “parallel” cinema movement in India and, in collaboration with students of St. Xavier’s College, will investigate the impact of Bollywood on the everyday lives of people in India. The trip will wind down with a visit to one of India’s greatest cultural treasures, the Taj Mahal of Agra.

Program Cost & Financial Considerations:

The estimated course fee will not exceed $4,100. Final program fee determined in May. 

The billing for the entire cost of this course is on the regular schedule with the CSB/SJU billing system for fall semester. Students participating in this course are eligible to apply all their state, federal, and institutional scholarships, grants, and loans to the cost of this course. While grants and scholarships do not increase based on the cost of the course, you may have access to additional loans.

The program fee includes:

  • Housing while the program is in session.
  • Domestic Airfare & Local Transportation for program activities
  • All meals while the program is in session.
  • Program-related excursions & entrance fees to museums & cultural attractions
  • Visa fee for India
  • CISI Medical & Evacuation Insurance

The program fee does not include:

  • International Airfare (est. of $1,800)
  • Arrival and Departure day meal expenses (est. of $20)
  • Personal expenses (est. of $250)
  • Non-program travel or activities


Students will stay in double-occupancy hotel accommodations while in India. Wifi is available at all hotel locations.

Program Director Information

Madhu Mitra

The director of this program is Madhu Mitra. She is a professor in the English and Gender Studies Departments. During her time at CSB/SJU, she has led a number of semester programs including Australia, China, Galway-Ireland, India, & London, United Kingdom.

E-mail: [email protected]