Lives of Information Workshop – Participants
Amlan Das Gupta is Professor of English in the Department of English, Jadavpur University. His current research interests are classical and renaissance European literature and thought and the history of Christianity. For the last few years he has been working on creating an archive of North Indian classical music at the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University. In 2010 he assumed charge of the School as its Director and is in overall charge of its current programmes. He has also written on digital archiving and the history of North Indian classical music.
Anindita Majumdar is currently in the process of completing her doctoral thesis on the interface between kinship and technology in the commercial surrogacy arrangement in India from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi.
Awadhendra Sharan trained as a historian at Delhi University and subsequently at the University of Chicago where his doctoral thesis was on ‘The Question of Untouchability in Colonial Bihar, 1860s to 1950s.’ After initially working with the Sarai Programme, he joined the Centre’s Faculty, where he conducts research on urban and environmental issues. His monograph In the City, Out of Place: Nuisance, Pollution and Urban Dwelling in Modern Delhi, (forthcoming, OUP) is a study of several such interrelated issues: water purity and sanitation, nuisance and traditional trades, congestion, pollution and toxicity, combining extensive archival research with a study of contemporary sources. Along similar lines, his current research is focused on Economies and Cultures of Waste and Pollution in Colonial India. In addition, Sharan has initiated a new research project on Urban Infrastructure in India.
Bhuvaneswari, trained in architecture, urban planning and social sciences, is Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Centre for the Study of Science, Society and Sustainability at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. She completed her doctoral degree in urban social policy at the London School of Economics, UK. Her research interests are in the areas of : transformation of urban land, urban politics, economic geography and urban poverty. Currently, she is researching about the transformation of land in small towns and large urbanizing villages in South India and the role of new technologies in spatial governance. Besides, she is involved in research collaboration with the London School of Economics to explore the effects of squatter relocation policies in two cities viz. Chennai and Bangalore.
Debjani Dutta has completed her M.Phil from the Department of Cinema Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Her research focuses on fan cultures emerging around the Korean Wave, exploring the manner in which online interfaces affect notions of labour, space and materiality in a globalizing environment. She has previously worked as a film programmer with the Korean Cultural Centre India. Her current research interests include questions of law, evidence and video technologies in the contemporary.
Kaushik Bhaumik is Associate Professor in Cinema Studies at the School of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is co-editor (with Elizabeth Edwards) of Visual Sense: A Cultural Reader, 2009 and his monograph on early Bombay cinema is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He has recently guest edited the Marg Special Issue on the 100 Years of Bombay Cinema. Project Cinema/City co-edited with Madhusree Datta and Rohan Shivkumar has just come out from Tulika Books.
Laura Stein is an Associate Professor in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She writes about alternative media, political communication, and communication law and policy. Her books include Speech Rights in America: The First Amendment, Democracy and the Media (exploring the failure of current understandings of speech rights to protect democratic communication in the U.S. media) and Making Our Media: Global Initiatives Toward a Democratic Public Sphere (about grassroots efforts to transform the policy and practice of information and communication media around the world). Her work has also appeared in numerous journals and edited books, such as: Communication, Culture & Critique; Media, Culture & Society; New Media & Society; The Communication Review; The Handbook of New Media; and Communication Law And Policy. During the 2013-2014 academic year, she is working on a book project about social movement communication in India as a Fulbright-Nehru scholar.
Matthew Hull is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the nexus of representation, technology, and institutions. His book, Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan (University of California Press, May 2012), examines governance as a semiotic and material practice through an account of the role of writing and written artifacts in the operations of city government in Islamabad. He is also working on the deployment of American technologies of democracy in urban planning and community development projects led by the Ford Foundation in Delhi in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Monika Halkort is visiting assistant professor of Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Her research focuses on the social life of information and examines data as alternative sphere of popular sovereignty and governance. She is currently working on a comparative study on copyright in humanitarian practice in which she discusses how closed data architectures undermine struggles for self determination among stateless populations and disenfranchised groups. The main geographic focus of her work is the Arab World. Prior to her academic careers Monika Halkort has worked as a broadcast journalist for more than 15 years.
Parnisha Sarkar completed her Masters in History at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is currently writing her M.Phil thesis at the Centre. Her research themes and interests include the colonial archive and its specific use for the purposes of historical research in the early to mid-twentieth century; the coming into being of the historical document in its different forms, and the different sites and different modes of its efflorescence in early twentieth century colonial South Asia.
Prasad Khanolkar is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at University of Toronto, Canada. He is also a member of CRIT, Mumbai; a network of individuals interested involved in research, pedagogy and intervention on/in urban realm. Currently, he is completing his dissertation (roughly) titled “A Fairy Tale of an Urban Constellation.”
Nishaant Choksi is a doctoral student in linguistic anthropology at the University of Michigan. He recently has conducted field research in southeast West Bengal on issues of Santali language and script. Before this he worked with adivasi communities in Gujarat.
Ravi Sundaram’s work rests at the intersection of the post-colonial city and contemporary media experiences. As media technology and urban life have intermingled in the post-colonial world, new challenges have emerged for contemporary cultural theory. Sundaram has looked at the phenomenon that he calls ‘pirate modernity’, an
illicit form of urbanism that draws from media and technological infrastructures of the post-colonial city. His current research deals with urban fear after media modernity, where he looks at the worlds of image circulation after the mobile phone, ideas of transparency and secrecy, and the media event.
Sundaram was one of the initiators of the Centre’s Sarai programme which he co-directs with his colleague Ravi Vasudevan. His publications include Pirate Modernity: Media Urbanism in Delhi (2009), No Limits: Media Studies from India (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Delhi’s Twentieth Century (forthcoming OUP).
Ravi Vasudevan works in the area of film and media history at Sarai/CSDS. His work on cinema explores issues in film, social history, politics, and contemporary media transformation. He is visiting faculty at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Vasudevan is a member of the Sarai Reader editorial collective, the advisory board of Screen, and co-founder and editor of BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. His publications include Making Meaning in Indian Cinema (edited, 2000) and The Melodramatic Public: Film Form and Spectatorship in Indian Cinema (2010). His current research tracks the way film use was dispersed from the site of the cinema into a variety of practical functions that constitute a crucial archive of mediatised life in the 20th century. He is also exploring the emergence of video technologies as part of a new Sarai project he is coordinating with Ravi Sundaram on media infrastructures and information.
Rijul Kochhar was, till the end of 2013, a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. In November 2013, he submitted to the department an MPhil dissertation which was titled, “The Analytics of Disability: Bodies, Documents, and the Order of the State” (Supervised by Dr Deepak Mehta).
Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay teaches history at Centre for Studies in Social Sciences. He studies histories of mass political formation in postcolonial urban India.
Ritam Sengupta has quite recently enrolled for a PhD degree at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Prior to this, he has studied Cultural Studies and Anthropology at the English and Foreign Languages University and SOAS respectively. His (still-evolving) research concern is about the colonial and postcolonial evolution of India’s telecommunication infrastructure and associated issues of state-formation, territoriality and economy.
Rolien Hoyng received a Research Master in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam and completed her PhD in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Currently she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Her work addresses intersections between technological practices, urban governance, and activism. Published work appeared in Culture Machine, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, and the Journal of Cultural Studies (forthcoming).
Sebastian Lütgert is an artist, programmer and film maker. He ran Pirate Cinema in Berlin and is currently associated with a number of digital film archives including 0xdb, pad.ma and indiancine.ma.
Shaunak Sen is a film maker and writer based in New Delhi. His writing on cinema has been published in Bioscope (2014) and Widescreen (forthcoming). He’s enrolled in the PhD in Cinema Studies in the School of Arts and Aesthetics in JNU. He is currently making a documentary on the politics of sleep on a grant received from the Films Division of India.
Sumandro is a researcher associated with The Sarai Programme, CSDS, Delhi, and HasGeek Media LLP, Bangalore. He is interested in history and politics of informatics in India, media and technology studies, and political economy. He is a free software and open access enthusiast.
Tarangini Sriraman is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Urban Dynamics at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi. Her work engages with the historical relationship between identification documents, law, citizenship, marginality and welfare processes in the urban spaces of Delhi. She is interested in the material forms and the legal, cultural and social aspects of documents in colonial and postcolonial milieus. She has also worked on the various cultural and social spheres of circulation of identity documents in the colonial medical landscape of epidemic control and the imperial pursuits of trade and commerce.
Vidhi Shah has recently submitted her M.Phil. to the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. Her research topic was ‘I, Me and Myself: Personal Narratives and Anthropological Distances’. Her research interests are Science, Technology and Society, and urban music and technology.