CSAS is pleased to announce that it will be holding an international conference on “Digital South Asia” this October. Since media and communication studies began in the 1970s, its object of study has changed in fundamental ways. Media was at first thought of almost wholly within the frame of the nation-state, and its national politics and culture. Since then, the diffusion of continuing technological innovations, driven by the world economy, has changed the media landscape beyond recognition, producing the ‘globalized’ world that we inhabit today. Situated within this larger frame, this conference, organized by Aswin Punathambekar (Associate Professor of Communication Studies), will bring together an international array of scholars with a shared interest in the rise of digital and mobile media technologies, the ongoing transformation of established media industries, and emergent forms of media practice and use that are reconfiguring socio-cultural, political, and economic terrains across the Indian subcontinent. The conference will also focus on the everyday lived experiences of audiences and publics—in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora—in their interaction with different kinds of media: old and new, state and private, elite and popular, global and national.
The rise of digital and mobile media technologies, and new forms of media practice and use associated with them, parallels the emergence of new forms of commercial media and communications enterprises across the global South. Our primary aim in convening this international conference is to draw together hitherto scattered national, comparative and transnational work on media and communication in South Asia; and secondly, in working through the overlapping themes of the conference, to discover common areas of interest and emerging lines of enquiry for future research. The conference is organized around four themes; a panel will be devoted to each of the following: “digital imaginaries,” “digital media and the new political,” “love and longing in digital South Asia,” and “television’s newness.”
We look forward to welcoming: Rohit Chopra (Santa Clara University); Lotte Hoek (University of Edinburgh); Lilly Irani (University of California, San Diego); Sangeet Kumar (Denison University); Shanti Kumar (University of Texas, Austin); Purnima Mankekar (University of California, Los Angeles); Rahul Mukherjee (University of Pennsylvania); Wazhmah Osman (Temple University); Nimmi Rangaswamy (Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad); Biswarup Sen (University of Oregon); Sahana Udupa (Max Planck Institute, Germany); Paromita Vohra (Independent Filmmaker, Mumbai); and Huma Yusuf (Woodrow Wilson Senior Fellow and Control Risks Consulting).
This conference is made possible by generous support from Ranvir and Adarsh Trehan and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.