Heidi Pauwels

From Gopi-teasing to Eve-teasing: What happens when Shah Rukh Khan is cast as Krishna

In this presentation, Professor Pauwels will discuss the trope of Krishna harassing the cowgirls of Braj and compare it to film representations of this theme. The theme is an important one because it raises the issue of so-called “eve-teasing”, a form of sexual harassment of women omnipresent in public spaces in South Asia. Pauwels’ talk addresses the interface between folklore, mythology, and movies. Hindi popular movies often evoke folk and mythological themes. This is well known, but has attracted little research. This presentation seeks to contribute to studying the manifold and interesting ways popular movies have appropriated folk and mythological materials with reference to gender.

Heidi Pauwels received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1994. Her re-search interests are medieval and modern Hindi language and literature, Hinduism, and Sanskrit language and literature. She has published, among other things, on the confluence of medieval Hindi devotional and Indo-Persian and Rajasthani court idiom, the reception of “the father of Urdu,” Vali, in eighteenth-century Delhi salons, and the way female role models are used in modern media.