Dilip K Basu

TitleProfessor Emeritus
DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentHistory Department
AffiliationsSouth Asia Studies,
East Asian Studies
Phone831-459-1924 (message)
Web Site Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Office HoursN/A
Campus Mail StopHumanities Academic Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Dilip K Basu

Research Interests

Modern South Asia, modern China, modern India, world history, colonialism, nationalism, cities, colonial and post-colonial film and visual culture

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Dilip K. Basu has diligently worked during the past decade to establish a world class Archives and Study Center on Satyajit Ray (Ray FASC), and an innovative, culturally focused South Asia Studies Center at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC). Basu had a moderate role in the international effort that led to the Lifetime Achievement Special Oscar awarded to Satyajit Ray in 1992. Basu hand-carried the Oscar to Ray in his hospital room in Calcutta and took his acceptance speech. This was broadcast on March 30, 1992. It was at the banquet after the Academy Awards ceremony that the late Mr. Daniel Taradash, a past President of the Academy, asked Basu to help restore Ray films. With an initial grant from the Academy, Basu organized the Ray FASC at UCSC, and the Ray Society in Calcutta. With the cooperation of the two organizations, Basu coordinates the restoration and preservation of Ray's films. The work is done at the Academy of Motion Pictures Archives in Los Angeles. To date, out of Ray's 37-film oeuvre, 13 have been fully restored. Most of the original negatives, including the ones of the Apu Trilogy, were in tatters. If these were not properly restored, future generations would not have the privilege of seeing the classic Ray films. The Academy has recently announced that it will pay for the restoration costs of the rest of the Ray films. Restored film elements are preserved at the Academy's vault (a vault in Calcutta is yet to be built); the original negatives, upon restoration, are returned to the producers in India at no cost to them.

Selected Publications

  • Women in Satyajit Ray's Cinema. Oxford, England, and New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

  • Satyajit Ray: The Oscar Story, ed. Santa Cruz: University of California, Ray Film and Study Collection, 1998. (hardbound special edition with visuals and photographs)

Selected Recordings

  • A Troubled Vision: Satyajit Ray's India, 1997. (video based on collection and research)

  • Ancestors in America Sailors, Coolies, Sailors, Settlers. A film by Loni Ding, 1996. (contribution of research and materials)

  • Satyajit Ray: Preserving a Luminous Legacy, 1996. (video)

Courses Taught

HIS 43, History of Traditional India
HIS, 147A, History of Pre-Modern India
HIS 147B, Political and Social History of Modern South Asia
HIS 148, Cinema and History: Film Author Satyajit Ray
HIS 194N, Comparative Studies in Modern Asian History