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CARGC Colloquium: Aswin Punathambekar, “Media, Untimely Humor, and the Time of Elections”

January 28, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

This talk will be held virtually, check back here for registration details.

About the Talk

This presentation explores how new visual cultures of media production and circulation shape political culture(s) during the ‘time of elections.’ In forging connections across news, popular culture, and unfolding political events, I argue that culturally resonant memes and satirical videos – especially those deemed untimely – link the time of elections to the continuous, daily time of politics. With a focus on contemporary India, I show how some media artifacts become part of an intricate, networked, yet comprehensible intertextual field that connects elections to long-standing political issues and debates around caste, class, and religious nationalism. I will also situate this phase of participatory culture in relation to the institutional logics of digital media companies and their partners (political parties in particular) that govern the production and consumption of visual political content in digital India.

About the Speaker

Aswin Punathambekar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia.

He is the author of From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (NYU Press, 2013), co-author of Media Industry Studies (Polity, 2020), and co-editor of Global Bollywood (2008), Television at Large in South Asia (2013), and most recently, Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia (2019). He is currently working on a co-authored book, provisionally titled The Digital Popular: Media, Culture, and Politics in Networked India. He serves as an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Media, Culture and Society and co-edits the Critical Cultural Communication book series for NYU Press. For the next three years, he will also be on the Board of Jurors for the Peabody Awards.


January 28, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST