Call for Papers
If, in a more classical sense, culture was associated with acquired tastes, which were often elitist and determined by ideologies of the dominant social groups, the intervention made possible by Cultural Studies as a discipline, was in reclaiming the ground hitherto denied to those speaking from the margins. The ‘popular’ was central to recharting legitimacies via Cultural Studies, and ironically earlier elitist hegemonies have now been replaced by populist conservatism. It needs to be borne in mind that the margin itself is relational to the mainstream or the mainland, and a realignment of perspective might present an entirely different picture to us. It is this very play between present hegemonies and future possibilities, which marks the ideology and activism of an earlier generation of Marxist theorists like Louis Althusser and Antonio Gramsci. However, the revolution-in-the-waiting seems to have elided us, and as we tide roughly through the choppy churnings of a new world order marked by a hollowed-out populism, one turns to sites of radical difference -- the margins, the hybridised, the invisible, the underbelly, the nomadic -- to seek refuge and to strike new roots.
This section titled “Contested Cultures” seeks to present perspectives -- particularly from the Global South -- highlighting the appropriation of popular cultural forms towards populist agendas, as well as the challenge to populism through independent, autonomous and collective interventions across a range of cultural forms.
Urban rituals - mediatised forms of urban existence
Environment - pandemics, forest fires, global warming, privatising space
Language - transforming lexicons, visual and computer language
Cinema - fandom, remakes, OTT platforms, web series
Networks - global capital, migration, media, phone apps, google maps
Food - diversity and homogenisation, agricultural and technology, cloud kitchens
Architecture - populism and the social construction of space, built environment, gated communities
The body - surveillance and CCTV culture, UIDs, prosthetics, queering bodies, labouring bodies
Performance - tik-tok and other mediatised forms, social media, selfies, folk forms
Memory - recording devices and outsourcing memory, post truth, cognitive studies
Law - privacy, freedom of expression, constitutionalism, cyberlaw
Neo imperialism - new forms of global control through culture
Post capitalism - knowledge economies, post-unionism, precarious labour
Rap, hip hop and youth subculture
Mass protests and the performance of dissent
Digital archives and history
Copyright and open-source activism
Monumental statues, public spaces and renaming streets
Dr. Rashmi Sawhney
Dr. Rashmi Sawhney is a cultural theorist and curator and writes in English and Marathi on cinema and the visual arts. She has over 15 years of teaching experience across various universities in India and Europe, including Trinity College Dublin; the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. At Christ University, she is Academic Coordinator for the MA and PhD programmes in Cultural Studies.
Dr. Ahmet Gürata
Dr. Ahmet Gürata is an academic, film critic and festival curator. Currently, he is a senior visiting scholar at Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS). He has published research on the history of Turkish cinema, reception, remakes and documentary in anthologies and journals. His current research includes projects on archive and comparative film studies. He also works as a programmer for the Festival on Wheels and is affiliated with Docedge: Asian Forum for Documentary.
Interest: Class: aka White trash, red neck
Interest: Family values
Dr. Anna Varghese is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Cultural Studies and History, CHRIST University, Bannerghatta Road Campus, Bangalore, India. Her doctoral research was on the topic, “Temple Functionaries in Medieval Kerala: A Study of their Evolution from 8th to 16th centuries CE” from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Interest: Cultural studies, digital humanities, platform studies, influence of algorithms on knowledge production
Nida Syeda completed her Masters in English from Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore and has an M.Phil in English Literature from Christ University, Bangalore. She is presently pursuing her doctoral studies under Dr Rashmi Sawhney at Christ University. Her M.Phil thesis was a textual analysis on internet memes to understand the different rhetorical devices used to decentre religious metanarratives. Her present work looks at how different tools of control influence information and knowledge production on digital platforms.
Interest: Cultural Studies, Popular Spirituality, Psychology
Interest: The Politics of Food
Interest: The Politics of Food
Dr. Dishari Chattaraj is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Christ University Bangalore. She received her M.Phil and Ph.D. from JNU, New Delhi, and her MA from EFLU, Hyderabad. She has been hosted as a Fulbright Fellow at Indiana University Bloomington, The USA. She has published widely in various Scopus-indexed journals including the Journal of Computers in Education (Springer Nature), Journal of English as an International Language (ELE Publications), International Journal Learning, Teaching, and Educational Research amongst others.