Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CfPs: Panel on Media & Modernity - Conference on Negotiating the Future in Everyday Life in South Asia| 20-22 September| Lund, Sweden

SASNET Conference
Modern Matters: 
Negotiating the Future in Everyday Life in South Asia
20-22 September 2016, Lund, Sweden

SASNET organizes a conference entitled "Modern Matters: Negotiating the Future in Everyday Life in South Asia" from 20 – 22 September 2016 at Lund University. The conference will explore what it means to consider oneself modern or outside the limits of modernity, in an extremely diverse region. It will also examine how the notion of modernity is experienced, contested, and negotiated in South Asia within the broader promise and hope of the 'Asian century'.

The three keynote speakers will be Faisal Devji, University of Oxford, UK; Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA; and Sumi Madhok, London School of Economics, UK.

Aims behind the conference
This workshop will explore what it means to consider oneself modern, or outside the limits of modernity, in an extremely diverse region. How is the notion of modernity experienced, contested, and negotiated in South Asia within the broader promise and hope of the Asian century? South Asian modernity will be considered in terms of regional, national, and global societies by pursuing the following, larger questions:

One of the eight panels accepted at this conference is on interdisciplinary Media Studies

Beyond the Desirable: Critical Perspectives on Media-Modernity
Panel Chairs:
Britta Ohm, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Per Ståhlberg, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden.
Vibodh Parthasarathi, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Milia Islamia, India. 

Ideas of contemporary modernities and projections of possible futures require a (public) circulation of symbolic forms. In this sense, media and modernity are intrinsically linked; it is not surprising that communication technologies often have a prominent part in promises and expectations of a "South Asian century". The last few decades have also witnessed a fast growth and penetration of various media technologies, forms and genres across the subcontinent and across different sections of society, which have opened up opportunities for popular participation, for protest, and both for transnational and local networking. 

However, both the recent engagements concerning violence against women and the public mob lynching of suspected rapists in India, to name two of many examples, have been heavily dependent on media technologies. This indicates that unlike 'democracy' or 'enlightenment', neither 'modernity' nor 'media' are pre-defined in terms of content or form but encompass a wide and mutually enforcing array of ideologies and practices that also include organised violence, fascism, totalitarianism, censorship, surveillance etc. The increasingly obvious, and public, interpretability of 'modernity' notwithstanding, the positive relation between media and societal modernity, as a desirable state, has remained remarkably unquestioned. This panel seeks to set conflicting meanings of modernity in relation and perspective by understanding media as an increasingly contested resource in different South Asian countries.

We thus invite contributions that explore the complex and contradictory relationship between media and modernity under diverse historical, political and legal conditions. Suggestions for topics include:
  •  Use of media technologies by (Identity & Non-Identity based) social and religious movements and political organisations
  •  Visions and construction of techno-mediated futures by government agencies though various campaigns (Smart Cities, UID, eGovernance)
  •  Design of media regulation by South Asian governments
  •  Relationship between modern media and violence across South Asia
  •  Relational & representational dynamics of class, caste, ethnicity, religion and gender across media (employment) in South Asia
  •  Location of media in the mainstream, middle-class oriented discourses on modernity
  •  Resistance to the modernity spawned/espoused by global media in South Asian contexts
Upcoming deadlines
  • April 30, 2016: Deadline for Abstracts | Abstracts should be between 200-300 words and include a bibliography incl. institutional affiliation of max. 100 words, and sent no later than April 30 2016 at conference@sasnet.lu.se. Information about limited travel expenses for exceptional contributions will be announced shortly.
  • May 15, 2016: Selection of papers
  • August 30, 2016: Deadline full papers
Conference fees
The conference fee for regular participants will be 500 SEK or 55 Euro. For participants that lite to attend the closing dinner on the 22nd of September the total fee will be 1000 SEK or 110 euro. More information will follow.

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