Ph.D. Candidate

John Caldwell was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has a M.M. in Performance (Bassoon) from the University of Michigan. After a stint in the corporate world John returned to academia in 1995. He is fluent in Urdu and Hindi and teaches all levels of these languages at UNC as well as courses in South Asian music and culture. John’s research interests include South Asian music, comparative musicology, Bollywood songs, and poetry and poetics. John has been assistant director of the UNC Summer in India Study Abroad Program since 1999 and has traveled to India and Pakistan many times. He continues to play bassoon in the Raleigh Symphony and Durham Symphony and can often be heard accompanying Indian musicians on the harmonium.

  • Email: asiaweb@email.unc.edu
  • Office: 208 Hill Hall

“The Movie Mujrā: the Trope of the Courtesan in Urdu-Hindi Film” in Southeast Review of Asian Studies 32 (2010), 120-28.

Conference Papers

“Courtesans and Devadasis: Women in the Performing Arts Under Colonial Rule,” UNC-Duke Sangeet Workshop, Duke University, September 14, 2013

“Portentous Picturizations: Intertextuality in Indian Film Song Sequences,” New Directions in South Asian Studies Colloquium, December 4, 2012

“Dramatic Reincarnations: The Rebirth of the Urdu Theater in the Indian Film Industry,” 36th Annual Comparative Drama Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 29-32, 2012

“What is Pakistani Music?” International Conference on Pakistan, South Asia, and Muslim Societies, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, March 6-7, 2012

“Teaching Pakistani Music,” Conference on Pakistan and Muslim Societies, Foreman Christian College, Lahore, Pakistan, March 11-12, 2012

“Globalization, Postmodernism, and World Music: The Case of Hindi Film Songs,” Southeast Region Association of Asian Studies Conference, Spring 2011

“The Triumph of Tradition: the Decline and Fall of the Modern Woman in South Asian Cinema,” Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI, April 2011