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Mississippi Masala by Mind Map: Mississippi Masala
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Mississippi Masala

Film by Mira Nair, 1991  

Film Review by Erika Surat Anderson

Full Citation: Anderson, Erika Surat. Film Review of Mississippi Masala by Mira Nair; Michael Nozik. Film Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Summer, 1993), pp. 23-26.

Anderson praises Nair for centralizing characters of color, particularly the "multicultural" and intersectional figure of Mina. She highlights the ease with which Mina moves through differently raced and classed spaces 24

Anderson objects to the satirization of the Indian community beyond Mina's own family. She argues that Nair occupies a precarious location as an Indian filmmaker and points out that such characterizations would not be tolerated if made by a non-Indian filmmaker. Anderson believes that any attempt to critique mutual racism between the Black and Indian community in the South is undermined by the unequal representation of two groups. She questions why Nair feels able/allowed to forward these stereotypes.

At the Crossroads of Two Empires: Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala and the Limits of Hybridity by Urmila Seshagiri

Seshagiri writes this article in 2003, in the wake of Nair's Monsoon Wedding. She revisits Mississippi Masala as a "parent" to the subsequent films made by South Asian women that also tackle themes of "assimilation and mixed-race love." She argues that Nair's film engages in racial/ethnic and national hybridity but is unable to resolve the conflicts posed in the narrative.

Seshagiri's article was published in the Journal of Asian American Studies. Her analysis takes an interdisciplinary approach to the film, drawing from postcolonial studies, racial/ethnic formation theory and diasporic analysis.

Illiberal Masala: The Diasporic Distortions of Mira Nair and Dinesh D'Souza by Ballal

Full Citation: Ballal, Prajeeti Punja. Illiberal Masala: The Diasporic Distortions of Mira Nair and Dinesh D’Souza. Weber the Contemporary West, Winter 1998, Volume 15.1.

In this article, Ballal presents a critique of the positionality of Nair in relation to the subjects of Mississippi Masala.

Ballal's critique is situated in post-colonial studies and draws heavily from Chandra Mohanty's work on Western feminism and its construction of the Third World Woman.

The Fiction of Asian American Literature by Susan Koshy

Full Citation: Koshy, Susan. The Fiction of Asian American Literature. The Yale Journal of Criticism 9. (1996) 315-346

Koshy interrogates the boundaries of the title "Asian American Literature" and the ways that it has been constructed through anthologies and their organizational principles. In this article she argues that the realm of Asian American Studies resist multiculturalist urges to emphasize plurality and instead engage critically with the work of diverse authors in order to generate theory for the field. She is particularly interested in theorizing the role of globalization in the construction of Asian American subjectivities and the challenges that mobility poses to simple categorizations based on ethnicity/nationality or origin.

Locations for South Asian Diasporas by Sandhya Shukla

Full Citation: Shukla, Sandhya. Locations for South Asian Diasporas. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 30, (2001), pp. 551-572

Shukla writes for an anthropology journal, giving this piece a different approach than the others explored in this map. In this article, she explores the different approaches of disciplines in regards to South Asian diasporas. She interrogates the title "South Asian" as a constructed term and its capacity to speak to the vast experiences of those who have migrated away from the subcontinent and their multiple and diverse conceptions of home and nation.