This course examines the history and practices of Indian popular cinema from the early 20th century to the present. Focusing on recent commercial Hindi cinema, we will learn how to intepret conventions such as song and dance sequences, melodrama and spectacle. Examining films as objects through which culture and society are made visible, students will watch films critically for their social, aesthetic and historical significance in Indian society. We will consider the particular commercial and industrial structures and practices surrounding Indian cinema, exploring the ways in which it is produced, circulated, and avidly consumed. We will examine the ways the Indian cinema accounts for nationality, religion, migration, and gender, and consider themes such as the use and creation of public space, spectatorship and visuality. This course will enable students to think critically about how cinema reflects, reforms and re-imagines the culture and society that creates it.