South Asia

Organized Panel Session

51 - Media in Motion: Mobile Bodies and Mobile Technologies in South Asia

7/6/2018
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Marigold, New Building

Contemporary human mobility is predicated upon, and produces, transregional flows of media and technology that regularly exceed existing regional and linguistic identities. As migration and movement from and within South Asia accelerate, new forms of mobile media and the publics they generate produce new aesthetic forms and new subjectivities. This panel connects shifting forms of mobile media with emerging practices of collective identification across South Asia and in spaces of migration, considering how the category of motion itself is made reflexively knowable through mass mediation.

According to William Mazzarella, a medium is a “reflexive and reifying technology” that “makes society imaginable and intelligible to itself in the form of external representations” (2004). Mobile media — from radio broadcasts of Hindi film songs in the mid-20th century to Instagram and Facebook on mobile phones in the 21st century — do not just pass information and aesthetic practices from point to point, but allow social groups to imagine themselves. In this panel, we examine how mobile media allows diasporic, transregional, and migrant collectivities to understand themselves as such. We explore mid-20th century Indian traveling concerts and radio programs, migrant media in contemporary Dubai, social media use among diasporic South Asian Muslim youth, and anxieties surrounding mobile phones in contemporary Hyderabad, India. This panel seeks to understand the condition of technologically mediated mobility as constitutive of the experience of South Asian modernities.

Presentations:

Kathryn C. Hardy

Ashoka University, India

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Philip Lutgendorf

University of Iowa, United States

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Bindu Menon

University of Delhi, Netherlands

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Shikha Jhingan

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Kathryn Zyskowski

University of Washington, United States

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Philip Lutgendorf

University of Iowa, United States

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