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[liberationtech] CfP International Symposium Digital Politics in Millennial India

Shriram Venkatraman at
Thu Aug 3 18:20:02 PDT 2017


*International Symposium*

*Digital Politics in Millennial India*

*15-17 March 2018*

*Deadline for abstracts 15 October 2017*

Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi (IIIT-Delhi)


Sahana Udupa, Professor, LMU, Germany

Aasim Khan, Asst. Professor, IIIT-Delhi

Shriram Venkatraman, Asst. Professor, IIIT-Delhi

The phenomenal expansion of Internet media in India in the last two decades
has enabled new forms of political participation in the public domain,
while also facilitating hitherto unimagined ways of consolidating
domination and state power. In spite of the limited access and wide social
inequities in terms of access and use, online media has been used as a
mobilizing tool by Indians engaged across a range of social and political
movements. From the recent student led campaigns in campuses across Indian
universities to the digitally enabled civic activism against corruption,
the rise of online networks has decisively changed the face of public
activism and public cultures.  As digital natives, India’s millennials are
increasingly drawn into online media to mobilize, satirize, and express
their interest in political matters.

India’s 350 million Internet users constitute the world’s second largest
online user base, next only to China. The promise of digital governance has
led to a massive state- led agenda for digitization. Digital media cultures
have grown by leaps through WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a
variety of new media platforms. Studies on digital media’s political and
social ramifications are yet to reflect the magnitude and potential of
Internet growth in a vast, fractious and deeply diverse polity such as
India. What kinds of political participation are the Internet and mobile
media co-creating? How are they enabling new imaginations and articulations
of citizenship and belonging, especially for the youth who constitute the
most active community in India’s online public domain? What voices are
amplified and what are effaced? What tactics are crafted and what affects
are inspired?

We invite scholars and digital media activists in India and researchers
studying the Indian diaspora for an international symposium in Delhi to
take up some of these questions. Together, we aim to unpack the Internet
media as information sources, rumor machines, affective affinity spaces,
vehicles of propaganda, and objects of state policy as they increasingly
shape the political present. We are particularly interested in local and
regional digital political cultures and public activisms that contest and
articulate religious politics.

Topics include but are not limited to

·      Internet enabled protest cultures

·      Cultures of digital vigilantism

·      Right-wing nationalism

·      Dalit media

·      Queer media

·      Gender and new media

·      Trolling and abuse

·      Urban activism and civic media

·      Internet regulatory debates

·      History of regional digital politics

·      Religious freedom and expression

We invite contributions that are based on original empirical research on
the Internet enabled media using the perspectives of ethnography, history,
cultural studies, digital humanities, policy studies and/or computational
data sciences. All contributions must be related to contemporary political
participation in India. We especially invite contributions that are based
on ground fieldwork and extend the scope of digital politics research to
cover the vernacular and non-metropolitan settings.

Attendance to the symposium will be fully funded. Organizers will cover
international and local travel and accommodation expenses.

Please send the extended abstracts of 1200 words with the subject line
Politics in Millennial India*” on or before 15 October 2017 to
onlinerpol at

Shortlisted participants will share the working paper (4000 words) one
month prior to the symposium. The conference will contribute to a themed
volume on media cultures featuring essays for academic as well as general
readership. We encourage authors to use jargon free language.

The symposium is jointly hosted by Project ONLINERPOL funded by the European Research Council Starting
Grant at LMU, Munich, Germany, and the Department of Social Sciences and
Humanities/Center for IT and Society, IIITD

Shriram Venkatraman

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