SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Professor Rachel Dwyer

BA (London) MPhil (Oxon) PhD (London) DLitt (Newcastle)
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Rachel Dwyer
SOAS South Asia Institute

Professorial Research Associate

Professor Rachel Dwyer
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Rachel Dwyer is Professor Emerita of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, University of London.

She took her BA in Sanskrit at SOAS, followed by an MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford. Her PhD research was on the Gujarati lyrics of Dayaram (1777-1852).

Professor Dwyer has published ten books, several of which are on Indian cinema. She has recently completed 'Bollywood's India: Indian cinema as a guide to modern India for Reaktion Books, London and Hachette, India. She is currently researching the Asian elephant in India.



Hindi cinema and film culture in South Asia; Hinduism; Gujarati diaspora


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Authored Books

Dwyer, Rachel (2014) Picture abhi baaki hai: Bollywood as a guide to modern India. New Delhi: Hachette.

Dwyer, Rachel (2014) Bollywood’s India: Hindi cinema as a guide to contemporary India. London, UK: Reaktion Books.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) Get started in Gujarati (Teach Yourself Language). London: Teach Yourself/Hodder.

Dwyer, Rachel (2008) What do Hindus believe?. London: Granta.

Dwyer, Rachel (2006) Filming the Gods: Religion and Indian Cinema. Abingdon: Routledge.

Dwyer, Rachel (2005) 100 Bollywood films. London: British Film Institute.

Dwyer, Rachel and Patel, D. (2002) Cinema India. The Visual Culture of the Hindi Film. London: Reaktion Books.

Dwyer, Rachel (2002) Yash Chopra. London: British Film Institute.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) The poetics of devotion: the Gujarati lyrics of Dayaram. Richmond: Curzon.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) All you want is money, all you need is love: sex and romance in modern India.. London: Cassell.

Dwyer, Rachel (1995) Gujarati: a complete course for beginners. London: Hodder and Stoughton.


Dwyer, Rachel (2017) 'Calling God on the wrong number: Hindu-Muslim relations in PK (2014) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)'. The Muslim World, (107) 2, pp 256-270.

Dwyer, Rachel (2015) 'Vighnaharta Shree Siddhivinayak: Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings, in Mumbai'. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, (35) 2, pp 263-276.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'My Lord, the elephant'. Seminar: The Monthly Symposium, (651), pp 39-42.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'The biggest star of all: the elephant in Indian cinema'. Religions of South Asia, (7), pp 195-210.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'Fire and Rain, The Tramp and The Trickster: romance and the family in the early films of Raj Kapoor'. The South Asianist: Journal of South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, (2) 3, pp 9-32.

Dwyer, Rachel (2011) 'The case of the missing Mahatma: Gandhi and the Hindi cinema'. Public Culture. Special issue edited by Ritu Birla and Faisal Devji, (23) 2, pp 349-376.

Dwyer, Rachel (2010) 'Hindi films and their audiences'. Marg. A Magazine of the Arts, (61) 3, pp 30-39.

Dwyer, Rachel (2010) 'I am Crazy about the Lord: The Muslim Devotional Genre in Hindi Film'. Third Text, (24) 1, pp 123-134.

Dwyer, Rachel (2010) 'Bollywood’s India: Hindi cinema as a guide to modern India (Based on inaugural lecture, Feb 5, 2008)'. Asian Affairs, (41) 3, pp 381-398.

Dwyer, Rachel (2009) 'Phalke, Dhundiraj Govind [known as Dadasaheb Phalke] (1870-1944)'. Dictionary of National Biography.

Dwyer, Rachel (2002) 'Real and imagined audiences: Lagaan and the Hindi film after the 1990s.'. Etnofoor, (Vol. 1), pp 177-193.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) '"Indian values" and the diaspora: Yash Chopra�s films of the 1990s'. West Coast Line, (32-34) 2, Autumn, pp 6-27.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) 'The erotics of the wet sari in Hindi films'. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, (23) 2, pp 143-159.

Dwyer, Rachel (1998) 'Hindi romantic cinema: Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie and Silsila'. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, pp 181-212.

Edited Books or Journals

Kidambi, Prashant and Kamat, Manjiri and Dwyer, Rachel, (eds.), (2019) Bombay before Mumbai: Essays in honour of Jim Masselos.. London/New York: Hurst Publishers/Oxford University Press.

Dharampal-Frick, Gita and Dwyer, Rachel and Kirloskar-Steinbach, Monika and Phalkey, Jahnavi, (eds.), (2015) Key concepts in modern Indian studies. New Delhi/New York: Oxford University Press/New York University Press.

Dwyer, Rachel, (ed.), (2015) Bollywood. London: Routledge. (Critical concepts in media and cultural studies).

Dwyer, Rachel and Pinto, Jerry, (eds.), (2011) Beyond the boundaries of Bollywood: the many forms of Hindi cinema. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Dwyer, Rachel and Pinney, Christopher, (eds.), (2000) Pleasure and the nation: the history, consumption and politics of public culture in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (SOAS studies in South Asia).

Book Chapters

Ashton, Helen and Dwyer, Rachel (2022) 'Get on the train, baby!: Joining Kashmir and Kanyakumari through Hinglish and English accents and language in Chennai Express (2013)'. In: Majumdar, Neepa and Mazumdar, Ranjani, (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Indian Cinema. Oxford: Wiley.

Dwyer, Rachel and Ashton, Helen (2021) '‘I do fatafat constipation with goras in tip-top gora English’: Hinglish and English accents and speech in Jab Tak Hai Jaan'. In: Orsini, Francesca and Ravikant, , (eds.), Hinglish Live: Language mixing across media. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan.

Dwyer, Rachel (2019) 'Bollywood and America: an overview'. In: Jhaveri, Shanay, (ed.), Outsider films on America. Mumbai: Shoestring Publishers, pp 140-161.

Dwyer, Rachel (2018) 'Rimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat’: Songs of love and longing in the Bombay rains.'. In: Rajamani, Imke and Pernau, Margrit and Butler Schofield, Katherine, (eds.), Monsoon Feelings: A History of Emotions in the Rain. New Delhi: Niyogi Books, pp 291-314.

Dwyer, Rachel (2018) 'Jaffrey, Saeed (1929-2015)'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Dwyer, Rachel (2016) 'Mumbai Middlebrow: ways of thinking about the middle ground in Hindi cinema'. In: Faulkner, Sally, (ed.), Middlebrow Cinema. Abingdon: Routledge, pp 51-68.

Dwyer, Rachel (2016) 'Afterword'. In: Beaster-Jones, Jayson and Sarrazin, Natalie, (eds.), Music in contermporary Indian film: memory, voice, identity. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 192-198.

Dwyer, Rachel (2015) 'I am Crazy about the Lord: The Muslim Devotional Genre in Hindi Film'. In: Ali, Nobil Ahmad, (ed.), Cinema in Muslim Societies. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 118-129.

Dwyer, Rachel (2015) 'Innocent abroad: Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar and the diasporic star'. In: Dudrah, Rajinder and Mader, Elke and Fuchs, Bernhard, (eds.), Shah Rukh Khan and global Bollywood. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp 49-69.

Dwyer, Rachel (2015) 'A star is born?: Rishi Kapoor and dynastic charisma in Hindi cinema.'. In: Cobb, Shelley and Ewen, Neil, (eds.), First comes love: Power couples, celebrity kinship, and cultural politics.. New York, NY: Bloomsbury, pp 96-115.

Dwyer, Rachel (2015) 'I love you when you’re angry: Amitabh Bachchan, the star and emotion in the Hindi film'. In: Bandhauer, Andrea and Royer, Michelle, (eds.), Stars in World Cinema: Screen Icons and Star Systems Across Cultures. London: IB Tauris, pp 13-23.

Dwyer, Rachel (2014) 'The biopic of the new middle classes in contemporary Hindi cinema.'. In: Brown, Tom and Vidal, Belen, (eds.), The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture. London: Routledge, pp 68-83.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'Le cinéma indien'. In: Bates, Karine and Boisvert, Mathieu and Granger, Serge and Jaffrelot, Christophe, (eds.), L'Inde et ses avatars: Pluralité d'une puissance. Montreal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, pp 275-306.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'Bollywood's empire: Indian cinema and the diaspora.'. In: Chatterjee, Joya and Washbrook, David, (eds.), Routledge handbook of South Asian diaspora. London: Routledge, pp 407-416.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'Happy ever after: Hindi films and the happy ending.'. In: Ssorin-Chaikov, Nikolai, (ed.), The topography of happiness from the American dream to postsocialism/ Топография счастья от Американской мечты к пост-социализму. Moscow: New Literary Observer [Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie], pp 357-402.

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'The Hindi film biopic'. In: Rosenstone, Robert and Parvulescu, Constantin, (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Historical Film. Oxford: Blackwell, pp 219-232.

Dwyer, Rachel (2011) 'Bombay Gothic: 60 years of Mahal/The mansion, dir. Kamal Amrohi, 1949'. In: Dwyer, Rachel, (ed.), Beyond the boundaries of Bollywood: the many forms of Hindi cinema. Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp 130-155.

Dwyer, Rachel (2011) 'Zara hatke!: The new middle classes and the segmentation of Hindi cinema'. In: Donner, Henrike, (ed.), Being middle-class in contemporary India: A way of life.. London: Routledge, pp 184-208.

Dwyer, Rachel (2009) 'Bimal Roy: a different kind of Hindi cinema'. In: Bhattacharya, Rinki, (ed.), Bimal Roy: the man who spoke in pictures. New Delhi: Penguin, pp 162-171.

Dwyer, Rachel (2009) 'Depictions of and by religious practitioners in films: Hinduism'. In: Lyden, John, (ed.), Routledge companion to religion and film. New York: Routledge, pp 141-161.

Dwyer, Rachel (2009) 'Ich mag es, wenn du zornig wirst: Amitabh Bachchan, Emotionen und Stars im Hindi-film'. In: Tieber, Claus, (ed.), Fokus Bollywood: das indische Kino in wissenschaftlichen Diskursen. Münster: Lit. Verlag, pp 99-115.

Dwyer, Rachel (2007) 'Indian cinema'. In: Cook, Pam, (ed.), The cinema book. London: British Film Institute, pp 221-223.

Dwyer, Rachel (2006) 'The saffron screen?: Hindi movies and Hindu nationalism'. In: Meyer, Birgit and Moors, Annelies, (eds.), Religion, media and the public sphere. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp 422-460.

Dwyer, Rachel (2006) 'Planet Bollywood: Hindi film in the UK.'. In: Sayyid, S. and Ali, Nasreen and Kalra, Virinder S., (eds.), Postcolonial people: South Asians in Britain.. London: Hurst & Co., pp 366-375.

Dwyer, Rachel (2006) 'Kiss or Tell? Declaring Love in Hindi Films'. In: Orsini, Francesca, (ed.), Love in South Asia. A Cultural History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 289-302.

Dwyer, Rachel (2006) 'The goddess in Indian film.'. In: Menzies, Jackie, (ed.), Goddess: divine energy.. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, pp 153-155.

Dwyer, Rachel (2005) 'Cinema'. In: Cush, D. and Robinson, Catherine and York, M., (eds.), The encyclopaedia of Hinduism. London: Routledge Curzon.

Dwyer, Rachel (2004) 'Yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti! (This wedding cannot happen!)'. In: Jones, GW and Ramdas, K, (eds.), (Un)tying the knot: ideal and reality in Asian marriage. Singapore: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore., pp 59-90.

Dwyer, Rachel (2004) 'The Swaminarayan Movement'. In: Jacobsen, Knut A. and Kumar, Pratap, (eds.), South Asians in the diaspora: historiesand religious traditions.. Leiden: Brill, pp 180-199.

Dwyer, Rachel (2004) 'Representing the Muslim: the 'courtesan film' in Indian popular cinema.'. In: Parfitt, Tudor and Egorova, Yulia, (eds.), Jews, Muslims and Mass Media Mediating the 'Other'. London: Routledge/Curzon, pp 78-92.

Dwyer, Rachel (2002) 'Landschaft der Liebe: die indischen Mittelschichten,die romantische Liebe und das Konsumdenken.'. In: Schneider, A, (ed.), Bollywood: das indische Kino und die Schweiz.. Zurich: Museum fur Gestaltung, pp 97-105.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) 'Shooting Stars: the Indian film magazine Stardust'. In: Dwyer, Rachel and Pinney, Christopher, (eds.), Pleasure and the nation: the history, consumption and politics of public culture India. India: Oxford University Press, pp 247-85.

Dwyer, Rachel (2000) 'Bombay Ishtyle'. In: Bruzzi, S and Gibson, P, (eds.), Fashion Cultures: theories, explorations and analysis. London: Routledge, pp 178-190.

Dwyer, Rachel (1998) '“Starry nights”: the novels of Shobha Dé'. In: d'Haen, Theo, (ed.), (Un)writing empire. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp 117-133.

Dwyer, Rachel (1994) 'Caste, religion and sect in Gujarat: followers of Vallabhacharya and Swaminarayan'. In: Ballard, Roger, (ed.), Desh pardesh: the South Asian experience in Britain. London: Hurst, pp 165-190.

Book Reviews

Dwyer, Rachel (2013) 'Trunk Lines'. The Times Literary Supplement.

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Dwyer, Rachel (2017) 70 iconic movies of independent India.

Dwyer, Rachel (2017) Why is govt neglecting Bollywood, a major source of soft power?.

Dwyer, Rachel (2016) The Rachel Papers.


This list was last generated on Friday, 12th August 2022, 15:45 Europe/London.