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Digital South Asia | Participants

Rohit Chopra (Santa Clara University, USA)

Rohit Chopra is Associate Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University. His research centers on global media, new media technologies and cultural identity in South Asian contexts. He is the author of Technology and Nationalism in India: Cultural Negotiations from Colonialism to Cyberspace (Cambria: 2008), editor of a special issue of the EPW on imperialism in the present, and co-editor of Global Media, Culture, and Identity (Routledge: 2011). He has also published in several journals including the International Journal of Communication, Global Media and Communication, New Media and Society, and Cultural Studies. His current projects address the relationship between media, memory, and violence and the ethics of memory on the Internet.

Lotte Hoek (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Lotte Hoek is a media anthropologist at the University of Edinburgh. Her ethnographic research projects explore the nature of the cinema at the end and edges of film in South Asia. She is the author of Cut-Pieces: Celluloid Obscenity and Popular Cinema in Bangladesh (Columbia University Press, 2014) and the blog De Media Automatiek.

Lilly Irani (University of California-San Diego, USA)

Lilly Irani is an Assistant Professor of Communication & Science Studies at University of California, San Diego. Her work examines and intervenes in the cultural politics of high tech work. She is currently writing a book on cultural politics of innovation and development in transnational India, entitled Entrepreneurial Citizenship: Innovation in Indian Development. She is also the co-founder and maintainer of digital labor activism tool Turkopticon.  She has published her work at New Media & Society, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Science, Technology & Human Values, as well as at SIGCHI and CSCW. Her work has also been covered in The Nation, The Huffington Post, and NPR. Previously, she spent four years as a User Experience Designer at Google. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, both from Stanford University and a PhD from UC Irvine in Informatics.

Sangeet Kumar (Denison University, USA)

Sangeet Kumar is an Assistant Professor at Denison University. His research and teaching center around different aspects of the global web as well as on exploring questions of desire and affect within global popular culture. His work has been published in journals such as International Communication Gazette, Popular Communication, Journal of Communication Inquiry and Global Media and Communication among others.

Shanti Kumar (University of Texas-Austin, USA)

Shanti Kumar is Associate Professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Asian Studies, the Center for Asian-American Studies and the South Asia Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Gandhi Meets Primetime: Globalization and Nationalism in Indian Television (University of Illinois Press, 2006), and co-editor of Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU Press, 2003), Television at Large in South Asia (Routledge, 2012) and Global Communication: New Agendas in Communication (Routledge, 2013).

Purnima Mankekar (University of California-LA, USA)

Purnima Mankekar is Professor in the departments of Gender Studies, Asian American Studies, and Film, Television and Digital Media at UCLA. Her book, Unsettling India: Affect, Temporality, Transnationality was published by Duke University Press in February 2015. She is currently finishing a book on television in post-liberalization India, and is engaged in ethnographic fieldwork on business process management in Bangalore, India. Her teaching and research are in feminist media and cultural studies, feminist anthropology, interdisciplinary theories of affect, postcolonial studies, and South Asian and South Asian American studies.

Rahul Mukherjee (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Rahul Mukherjee is the Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies in the Cinema Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania. His present work focuses on digital practices and mobile platforms in Zambia and India. Drawing from science studies, media anthropology, and cultural theory, he has written about microSD cards, cell towers, and database technologies. Rahul's book project involves theorizing materialities of technoscience publics that gather around disruptive media infrastructures.

Wazhmah Osman (Temple University, USA)

Wazhmah Osman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University.   Her research focuses on global and transnational media, media development in conflict and post-conflict areas, democracy, and public sphere formation.  In her upcoming book based on her multi-year ethnographic fieldwork in Central and South Asia, she analyzes the impact of international funding of media and cross border media flows on regional politics.  Her work also investigates the politics of representation and visual culture of "The War On Terror" and "Afghan Women" and how they reverberate globally and locally in her native Afghanistan.

Nimmi Rangaswamy (Xerox Labs, India)

Nimmi Rangaswamy is a Senior Researcher and Manages the Human Interactions research area at the Xerox Research Centre India, Bangalore. She is a social anthropologist and conducts ethnographic research in the area of work practice and HCI at XRCI. Nimmi has studied at the Delhi School of Economics and University of Mumbai in Social Anthropology. Nimmi is also currently adjunct professor at the Indian institute of Technology, Hyderabad teaching two courses: “ICT for Development: Debates on Theory and Praxis” and “The Sociology of Digital Media." Previously, her job at Microsoft Research was a combination of theoretical analysis and ethnographic field research to understand technology use in developing countries.  These are studies of patterns of technology adoption in various social contexts and spaces in India, ranging from middle class consumption of domestic media, the business models of cyber cafés and the use of mobile internet and Facebook among urban slum youth.

Bish Sen (University of Oregon, USA)

Biswarup Sen is Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon. His research interests include global media studies, communication and popular culture in South Asia, the impact of digital technology in postcolonial societies, and histories and theories of new media. He is the author of Of the People: Essays on Indian Popular Culture (Chronicle Books and Orient Longman, 2004), co-editor of Channeling Cultures: Television Studies from India (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Digital Culture and Politics in Contemporary India: The Making of an Info-Nation (Routledge, forthcoming Fall 2015). He is currently working on an edited volume of essays on new media and democracy in the global context.

Sahana Udupa (Max Planck Institute, Germany)

Sahana Udupa is a social anthropologist researching political cultures of media, religion and urban transformation. She is Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, and Affiliate at the Center for Global Communication Studies, University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics(Cambridge University Press, UK).

Paromita Vohra (Independent Filmmaker and Digital Artist, India)

Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker, writer and curator whose work has focuses on urban life, popular culture, gender, politics and art. Her films have been widely screened in festivals, galleries and popular screening spaces, besides being included in university syllabi around the world. Her films as director are Partners in Crime (2011), a documentary on culture, markets and the arts Morality TV and the Loving Jehad: A Thrilling Tale (2007), a documentary on tabloid TV news and moral policing(Best Short Documentary, Int.Video Fest, Trivandrum), Q2P,(2006) a film on toilets and the city (Best Documentary IFFLA and Bollywood and Beyond, Stuttgart); Where’s Sandra?(2005), a playful exploration of stereotypes of Catholic girls from a Bombay suburb; Work In Progress (2004) an impressionistic portrait of the World Social Forum held in Mumbai; Cosmopolis: Two Tales of a City,(2004), a short film which explores Bombay’s cosmopolitan self image through land and food politics, which won an award for mixing fiction and non-fiction at the Digital Film Festival, Un-limited Girls (2002), a personal take on engagements with feminism in urban India (Feminist News Award, Women’s Film Festival in Seoul; Best Film Award, Aaina Film Festival, India); A Short Film About Time (2000), a fiction short about the funny-sad relationship between a young woman with a broken heart, her psychotherapist and his watch;A Woman’s Place,(1999) an hour-length documentary for PBS looking at how women in India, South Africa and the USA negotiate the space between law and custom; and  Annapurna (1995), about a women food worker’s cooperative in Bombay’s textile mill area.

Her films as writer are the internationally released feature Khamosh Pani/Silent Waters directed by Sabiha Sumar(Golden Leopard, Locarno Film Festival, 2003, Best Screenplay, Kara Film Festival, 2003), the documentaries A Few Things I Know About Her (Silver Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival 2002), If You Pause: In a Museum of Craft, The Stuntmen of Bollywood and the faux-documentary Skin Deep (dir: Reena Mohan).

Her writings, fiction and non-fiction have been included in various anthologies, among them Bombay Meri Jaan: Writings on Mumbai, Electric Feather: the Tranquebar Book of Erotica, Recess: The Penguin Book of Schooldays, Dreaming Different: New Feminist Writings from Around the World, Signs (Spring 209) and First Proof: Penguin New Writing from India. She contributes to several publications including Outlook, India Today, Tehelka, Time Out,Mumbai and currently writes a popular column in Sunday Mid-day a Mumbai newspaper.

Huma Yusuf (Woodrow Wilson Senior Fellow and Control Risks Consulting)

Huma Yusuf is an award-winning Pakistani journalist and political analyst. She writes for Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper and international publications including the International New York Times, Foreign Policy and Christian Science Monitor. She was the 2010-11 Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington D.C. and is currently one of the centre’s Global Fellows. She currently works as a senior consultant at Control Risks, a London-based political risk consultancy.

Huma has been awarded the All Pakistan Newspapers Society ‘Best Column’ Award (2008 and 2010), the European Commission’s Prix Natali Lorenzo for Human Rights and Democracy Journalism (2006), and the UNESCO/Pakistan Press Foundation ‘Gender in Journalism’ Award (2005).

She has published numerous policy reports, journal articles and book chapters on Pakistan’s evolving media landscape, including “The Media of Pakistan: Fostering Inclusion in a Fragile Democracy?” and "Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan."