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Rashna Nicholson

Rashna Nicholson, M.A.

In Memory/Memorium of the Madarvatan. Khushro Shirin, Yezdegard Sheriar, and the Politics of the Parsi Theatre

Dissertation Abstract

The Parsi Theatre that emerged in the second half of the 19th century was India’s first modern theatre and an answer to the bourgeois aspirations of a new Indian middle class. Although its importance has been widely acknowledged due to its association with Indian cinema and the modern Indian theatre, there exists to this date no published critical history of the texts themselves and of their relation to the community that they sprang from.
This thesis will therefore serve as a corrective measure, filling in the gap in existing research through the documentation and analysis not only of the texts of the high period of Parsi Theatre (1870–1940), but also and more importantly of the turning point in the history of both the Parsi Theatre and the Parsi community. The latter will be undertaken through an analysis of the plays Khushro Shirin ane Guldaste Iran and its "sequel" Yezdegard Sheriar or Yade Vatan, written by Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala in the late 1920s and of their subsequent impact on the Parsi theatrical renaissance of the 1960s.

Short CV

Since 2012  PhD Candidate at the Research Training Group

2010           M.A. Erasmus Mundus in Performing Arts Studies, Brussels University and University of Copenhagen

2007           B.A. English Literature, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India


"Corporeality, Aryanism, Race: The Theatre and Social Reform of the Parsis of Western India". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 38.4 (2015).