Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Call for Research Proposals: Short-term Project on Internet Memes

Call for Research Proposals: Short-term Project on Internet Memes
Germany's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) is pleased to invite proposals for a short-term project on Internet memes and the politics of national belonging. The estimated duration of the project is 6 months, starting July 2017. 
India is in the midst of a massive expansion of digital media. Social media are influencing political debates and cultures of political participation in significant ways. ONLINERPOL is a five year research project on political cultures of new media in India and among the diaspora in Europe. The project is funded by the European Research Council Starting Grant and hosted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, LMU. We are commissioning a range of projects that can contribute to the broad objective of ONLINERPOL to understand the dynamics of new media in urban India and its political-cultural ramifications.
Internet memes play a crucial role in shaping digitally mediated political discourses. They have elements of humor and wit, but also propaganda and influence. What messages and themes are they sending out? Who produces them? What narratives do they elicit? We invite proposals for a short-term project to take up some of these questions. 
The project will aim to analyze sampled memes circulating on a social media platform (Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter or Instagram) that explicitly engage themes of national belonging and religious politics. Memes that feed online debates on religious identities and national imagination will be of particular interest. Representations of religion-secular-liberal positions as well as religious pluralism in relation to national imagination on Internet memes are the core focus. The project will ideally cover two areas of analysis:
i) visual content, framing and techniques of digital circulation 
ii. narratives about the origin, and contexts of production, reception and circulation
Advanced masters students, PhD candidates and early career researchers based in India with a background in cultural studies, media studies, art/aesthetics and visual anthropology may send their proposal (one page research outline, two page research plan, updated CV, and two writing samples as a single pdf with the subject header Application for Internet memes project) to ONLINERPOL[at]ethnologie.lmu.de and sahana.udupa[at]lmu.de before 15 June 2017. The project carries an award of Rs.200000/-. Candidates should have an Indian bank account. 
The project will contribute two blog posts to the ONLINERPOL website, and an original essay based on the research (7000 words). Candidates will be part of an exciting multidisciplinary conversation on new media, with opportunities to partner with the core research team based in Munich and a global network of collaborators.

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