Date:Friday, 24th May 2019, 14:00 – 16:30
Venue:Main Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo
Building Numbered 130 on the above map
Taberez A. Neyazi (National University of Singapore)
Annu Jalais (National University of Singapore)
14:00-14:50 Taberez A. Neyazi ‘Internet vernacularization and populist mobilization in India’
While there have been rapid transformations in the Internet ecosystem in India, two transformations are quite discernible – 1) massive growth in contents on the web in Indian vernacular languages, 2) and increasing numbers of citizens, in both urban and rural areas, accessing the Internet in India’s vernacular languages. These transformations, which I term Internet vernacularization, have massive impacts on India’s political, cultural and economic spheres, but have received little or no attention from scholars. Most of the existing scholarships on Internet and politics in India, though extended our knowledge on digital politics, treated Internet as homogenous space particularly ignoring language diversity, which have massive impact the manner people are using the platform and interacting with others. Drawing upon my earlier work, I show Internet vernacularization has brought numerous diverse publics into a web of networks, which are leading to increasing interactions between the English-speaking middle classes and the vernacular masses, rural and urban, as well as traditional and new media. This hybrid space has been utilized for populist mobilization because of its ostensibly inclusive character bringing disparate social groups in a web of networks. The symbolic inclusion of diverse social forces, who were hitherto remained at the margin of social order, are not necessarily empirically supported and are far from evidence and truth-based logics. In this paper, I analyze the manner in which Internet vernacularization has facilitated populist mobilization and its ramifications for Indian democracy.
15:20-16:10 Annu Jalais ‘Tigers, Buddhism Islam and the realm of the Asian Anthropocene’
In light of Prasenjit Duara’s recent (2015) discussions on “dialogical transcendence” and “circulatory histories” this paper will examine the human:nonhuman interface offered by the symbol of the “tiger” – both as a revered entity as well as a political beast – in South Asia. This will be undertaken so as to explore the symbolism of “nature” and the “nonhuman” animal in relation to “dialogical transcendence” and “circulatory histories”. Increasingly, as scholarship on Asia begins to focus on the politics of the Anthropocene, it is imperative to consider the nonhuman animal, in this case the tiger, when evoking cosmological imaginations to debate environmental predicaments. In other words, Duara’s introduction of “dialogical transcendence” to pivot Asian imaginings for grappling with the human possibilities in this epoch of the Anthropocene, make greater sense when explored through the nonhuman.