Naveen Qazi


BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

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Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Fall 2018

Date of Submission



Aliya Iqbal Naqvi, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


This paper predominantly assesses how the oiled abs of male-actors, semi-nude depictions, close up camera shots of physical features, and pelvic-thrusting dance moves showcase them as sexual entities through the time-honored genre of the “item song” in Bollywood. By conducting a thorough visual, semiotic and intertextual analysis of the representation of male stars in item songs, this paper seeks to understand celluloid gender representation through the lens of item songs, where sensuousness and eroticism are visually captured, displayed and openly consumed. It assesses key themes such as that of cinesexuality, gender politics, gender representation, objectification, erotic economy and cinematic frame to study item songs in Bollywood. The primary text of the item songs is deconstructed into its basic cinematic elements in order to determine exactly how masculinity, eroticization and the fetishization of the male body has evolved and been employed through item-dance sequences in Bollywood in comparison to the female-led item songs. A formal visual analysis is done for a deeper understanding of the cinematic techniques used to construct a shot-by-shot narrative of the subtext of the chosen item songs.



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