Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Indian Cinema and the Quality of Experience

Dr. Satti Khanna.

As a direction for the humanities it seems important to return to the quality of experience as a basis for discriminating among works of art. The project of distinguishing kinds of diurnal experience is itself an interesting one. Allied to the assessment of aesthetic environments such discriminating among distracting and aligning experiences becomes a powerful method for human-centered studies. The aim of my paper is to explore the possibility of “deep” experience afforded by a range of Indian films and thereby shed some light on our social hopes of devising “environments” which are likely to have a salubrious effect on people. I hope to examine in this connection some films by Satyajit Ray (Bengali), G. Aravindan (Malayalam) and Mani Kaul (Hindi).


Dr. Satti Khanna  (United States)
Associate Professor of the Practice
Asian & African Languages & Literature
Duke University

Satti Khanna interprets the lives and works of contemporary Indian writers to an international audience through a series of documentary films and translations. His recent work includes a translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla's Naukar ki Kameez (the Servant's Shirt) and the series Literary Postcard on the Indian Doordarshan channel.

  • Indian cinema
  • Quality of experience
  • Distraction and Alignment.
Person as Subject
  • Ray, Satyajit Aravindan, G. Kaul, Mani

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)