READING NANCY DREW
IN URBAN INDIA:
GENDER, POSTCOLONIALISM, AND
MEMORIES OF HOME
In her introduction to this book, Anne Lundin charts the historical and theoretical contours of scholarship on print culture for youth. She writes about the contributions of reader-response theorists to what we know today about the reading cultures of children and young adults in the United States. Reader-response theorists argue for the importance of studying readers' engagement with popular literature within the social context of their everyday lives. Since the pioneering work of literary feminist and reader-response theorist Janice Radway on women's interpretations of romance novels,1 cultural studies in the United States has witnessed a boom in studies of people's experiences with popular culture. Scholars from a variety of disciplines including history, journalism, English, sociology, anthropology, and education have examined the impact of everyday material culture such as soap operas, fiction, talk shows, tabloids, and shopping catalogs on consumer's social identities.
While the recent academic attention to popular culture is a welcome respite from the earlier focus on high culture, much of the research that exists concentrates on Europe, United States, Canada, and Australia. It is only recently, with the appearance of academic journals such as the International Journal of Cultural Studies, that we have seen a strong commitment in cultural studies to research about popular culture in non-Western settings. In the current context of widespread consumption of global popular culture, it is important to pay attention to people's engagement with popular media in geographic areas that are not part of the Euro-American world.