Digital Cultures of South Asia: Inequalities, Infrastructures, Informatization
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 Export to Your Calendar 5/21/2020
When: 5/21/2020
8:00 AM
Where: Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
Gold Coast
Contact: Sangeet Kumar

Online registration is available until: 5/1/2020
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The objective of the Digital South Asia preconference is to offer a much needed intervention within the growing body of scholarship on digital cultures around the world. The rapid spread and uptake of digital media technologies and resulting transformations in the realms of culture and power, politics and everyday life around the world demands close academic scrutiny based in different theoretical and methodological perspectives in media and communication studies. Our day-long ICA preconference responds to this need with a focus on the geographic, political and cultural terrain of South Asia in order to deepen as well as challenge normative western paradigms of how digital culture shapes social and economic structures and lived experiences in the Global South. Scholarship focused on the steadily increasing reach of digital media in South Asia has advanced over the last decade, but it is neither proportionate to the region’s significance nor does it address sufficiently the diverse gender, ethnic, religious and class formations that underlie digital media production and consumption. We consider this preconference to be timely and urgent, especially given South Asia’s potential to contribute greatly to the future expansion of Internet users as well as its distinct historical, political and demographic lineages that reveal the limits of existing theories in explaining digital life in the region. We envisage this preconference to be a vital forum for correcting the territorial and cultural imbalance in digital media research. By creating an inclusive intellectual tent that will bring together stakeholders of all hues (including scholars, practitioners and activists), we expect this day-long event to provide a launchpad for conversations that push the boundaries of research on the multi-faceted digital dimensions of South Asian life. Given the preconference’s juxtaposition with the wider academic gathering of ICA, we believe the ideas and presentations shared here by graduate students and emerging and established scholars will have enduring ripple effects for de-westernizing media and communication theory and research.