Archaeology, Gender and Indian Tamil Films


  • Premalatha Karupiah Universiti Sains Malaysia



gender inequality, India, male gaze, objectification, Tamil cinema


This article analyses the depiction of archaeology and archaeologists in contemporary popular Tamil films made in India, including a focus on the gender portrayal of archaeologists in two films in particular – one an adventure film depicting archaeological activity and the other a romance film involving a male archaeologist. Content analysis shows that both films portray some similarities in how archaeology is presented and that male and female archaeologists are shown as professionals, but that the female archaeologist is still presented for, and objectified through, the male gaze. The paper contributes to the understanding of how archaeologists are portrayed in non-Western films, particularly among films produced in India.


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Author Biography

Premalatha Karupiah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Premalatha Karupiah is an associate professor of sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Her research interests are in the areas of beauty culture, femininity, Tamil films and issues related to the Indian diaspora. Her articles have been published in leading journals. Correspondence address: School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.


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How to Cite

Karupiah, P. (2021). Archaeology, Gender and Indian Tamil Films. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 8(1), 138–153.