Keynote Speakers

Arjun Appadurai

“Media, Modernization Theory and Postcolonialism”

appaduraiArjun Appadurai is Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Prof. Appadurai is a prominent contemporary social-cultural anthropologist, having formerly served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School in NYC. He has held various professorial chairs and visiting appointments at some of top institutions in the United States and Europe. In addition, he has served on several scholarly and advisory bodies in the United States, Latin America, Europe and India. Dr. Appadurai is a world-renowned expert on the cultural dynamics of globalization, having authored numerous books and scholarly articles. The nature and significance of his contributions throughout his academic career have earned him the reputation as a leading figure in his field. His latest book is The Future as Cultural Fact: Essays on the Global Condition (Verso, 2013). He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prof. Appadurai will be our first keynote speaker, drawing upon his renowned and powerful body of work on issues of media, migration, and postcoloniality to chart a possible course for the future of communication/media studies (our first conference plenary theme).

Inderpal Grewal

“Violence and Protest: Towards a Feminist critique of the neoliberal security state”

grewalInderpal Grewal is Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Professor in South Asia Studies, and Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies at Yale University. Prior to arriving at Yale, Prof. Grewal taught at University of California, Irvine, where she was Chair of Women’s Studies and of the PhD Program in Culture and Theory. Prof. Grewal’s research interests include transnational and postcolonial feminist theory; human rights; NGO’s and theories of civil society; theories of travel and mobility; and South Asian cultural studies. She is the author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel (Duke University Press, 1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Duke University Press, 2005), and (with Caren Kaplan) has written and edited Gender in a Transnational World: Introduction to Women’s Studies (Mc-Graw Hill 2001, 2005) and Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational: Feminist Practices (University of Minnesota Press, 1994). With Victoria Bernal, (UC Irvine, Anthropology), she has co-edited Theorizing NGO’s: States, Feminisms, Neoliberalism (Duke University Press, 2014). Currently she is working on a research projects on the relation between feminist practices and security discourses, and on the memoirs of elite bureaucrats in India. Prof. Grewal will be the keynote for the second day of the conference, and her talk will address our second plenary theme, Postcolonial Feminist and Queer Approaches.

Ravi Sundaram

“Disturbed Territories: The ‘Global South’ in the post-digital world”

sundaramRavi Sundaram is Professor at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, India. Prof. 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. Prof. 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. Prof. Sundaram’s essays have been translated into various languages in India, Asia, and Europe. 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. Prof. Sundaram was one of the initiators of the Centre’s Sarai programme, which he co-directs with his colleague Ravi Vasudevan. He has co-edited the critically acclaimed Sarai Reader series: The Public Domain (2001), The Cities of Everyday Life (2002), Shaping Technologies (2003), Crisis Media (2004), and Turbulence (2006). His other publications include Pirate Modernity: Media Urbanism in Delhi (2009). Two of his other volumes are No Limits: Media Studies from India (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Delhi’s Twentieth Century (forthcoming, OUP). Prof. Sundaram will be the keynote for the third day of the conference, and his talk will address our final plenary theme, Logics of Modernity Beyond the West/North.