Anandam Kavoori Digital Media Criticism Essay

(CV pdf)

Aswin Punathambekar

Associate Professor

Department of Communication Studies

University of Michigan

5427 North Quad,105 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

Email: aswinp@umich.edu; Ph: 734-615-0949

 

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor (2013-), Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Assistant Professor (2007-2013), Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

 Education

Ph.D., Communication Arts (Media and Cultural Studies), University of Wisconsin, Madison (2007)

M.S., Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003)

M.A., Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia (2001)

B.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Allahabad (1999)

Publications

Books

(2013). From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry. New York: New York University Press.

Edited Books

(2013). Aswin Punathambekar and Shanti Kumar (Eds.), Television at Large in South Asia. London: Routledge.

(2008). Aswin Punathambekar and Anandam Kavoori (Eds.), Global Bollywood. New York: New York University Press.

Edited Special Issues of Peer-Reviewed Journals

Aswin Punathambekar and Paddy Scannell (Eds.), Back to the Future: Media and Communication Studies in the 21st Century. Special issue of Media, Culture and Society (Vol. 35, Issue 1, January 2013).

Aswin Punathambekar and Paddy Scannell (Eds.), Media and Religion. Special issue of Media, Culture and Society (forthcoming, 2015).

Journal Articles

(forthcoming, 2015). Satire, Elections, and Democratic Politics in Digital India. Television and New Media.

(forthcoming, 2015). Race and Ethnicity in Post-Network American Television: From MTV-Desi to Outsourced. Television and New Media (with Lia Wolock).

(2013). Back to the future: Media and Communication Studies in the 21st Century. Media, Culture and Society, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 2-8 (with Paddy Scannell).

(2012). Television at large, South Asian History and Culture, 2012, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 483-490 (with Shanti Kumar).

(2010). From IndiaFM.com to Radio Ceylon: New media and the making of the Bombay film industry. Media, Culture and Society, 2010, vol. 32 (5): 841-857.

(2010). Reality TV and participatory culture in India. Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture, 2010, 8(4): 241-255.

(2010). Ameen Sayani and Radio Ceylon: Notes towards a history of broadcasting and Bombay cinema. BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 2010, 1(2): 189-197.

(2005). Bollywood in the Indian-American Diaspora: Mediating a Transitive Logic of Cultural Citizenship. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2005, 8(2): 151-175.

Book Chapters

(forthcoming, 2015). Becoming Bollywood: Industrial Identity in an Era of Reform. In Adrian Athique, Vibodh Parthasarathi, and S. V. Srinivas (Eds.), The Indian Media Economy. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

(2013). Authoring hype in Bollywood. In Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson (Eds.), The Companion to Media Authorship (Malden, MA: Blackwell).

(2013). Diasporic media in an age of global media capitals. In Karin Wilkins, Joseph Straubhaar, and Shanti Kumar (Eds.), New Agendas in Global Communication (New York: Routledge).

(2010). “Reality TV and the making of mobile publics: The case of Indian Idol.” In Marwan Kraidy and Katherine Sender (Eds.), Real Worlds: Global Perspectives on the politics of Reality television (New York: Routledge). [Won Best Essay Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2011-12].

(2010). From Bihar to Manhattan: Bollywood and the Transnational Indian Family. In Michael Curtin and Hemant Shah (Eds.), Re-orienting Global Communications (Urbana: University of Illinois Press).

(2008). Introduction: Global Bollywood. In Anandam Kavoori and Aswin Punathambekar (Eds.), Global Bollywood (New York: New York University Press).

(2008). “We’re Online, Not on the Streets: Indian Cinema, New Media, and Participatory Culture.” In Anandam Kavoori and Aswin Punathambekar (Eds.), Global Bollywood (New York: New York University Press).

(2007). “Between Rowdies and Rasikas: Rethinking Fan Activity in Indian Film Culture.” In Jonathan Gray, et al (Eds.), Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World (New York: New York University Press).

(2005). “MSSRF’s Information Village Research Project, Pondicherry.” In Balaji Parthasarathy and Kenneth Keniston (Eds.), Information and Communications Technologies for Development: A Comparative Analysis of Impacts and Costs from India.

“PCOs in Rural Tamilnadu: Yarns of a Different Kind from Tiruppur.” White paper written for the Telecommunications & Computer Networks Group, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Chennai, 2002.

Digital Academic Publications

“On the Ordinariness of Participatory Culture.” Symposium piece for special issue on Fan Activism, In Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova (Eds.), Transformative Works and Cultures (vol. 10, 2012). http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/378

 “A Conversation” (with Rohit Chopra and Manan Ahmed), in Seminar: A Country of Our Own, Issue no. 632, April 2012. http://www.india-seminar.com/2012/632/632_conversation.htm.

 Indian Idol and Flash Fandom. In Media Res, Media Commons, November 2007.

 A Family Drama: Television and the Fight for the National Family. In Media Res, Media Commons, April 2008.

What brown cannot do for you: MTV-Desi, diasporic youth culture, and the limits of television. FLOW, Vol.10, Issue 2. http://flowtv.org/?p=4028.

 Television, participatory culture, and politics: the case of Indian Idol. FLOW, Vol. 10, Issue 5, http://flowtv.org/?p=4182

Colombo Calling: Radio Ceylon and Bombay cinema’s “national audience. FLOW, Vol. 10, Issue 8. http://flowtv.org/?p=4303

Works in Progress

The Indian Television Industry (book co-authored with Shanti Kumar, under contract for the International Screen Industries Series, Palgrave Macmillan).

“Programming Culture: Media and the Indian Diaspora, 1965-2015” (with Lia Wolock, invited contribution to Routledge Handbook on the Indian Diaspora, eds. Radha Hegde and Ajay Sahoo, New Delhi: Routledge).

“Mobile Publics: Media, Popular Culture, and Politics in Digital India” (Book project in progress).

 

Research Grants and Awards

Best Young Scholar Award, 2014, Popular Communication Division, International Communication Association.

(2013-16). Marsh Research Grant, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ($30,000).

(2013-14). Social Science Research Council grant for Inter-Asia program in Media, Activism and the New Political ($4500).

(2012). Best Essay in an edited collection, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2012 (‘Reality TV and the Making of Mobile Publics’)

(2010-11), Research grant from Center for International Business Education, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, $2500.

(2008-09), Rackham Faculty Grant. University-wide grant competition, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ($15000).

University of Wisconsin Graduate School Prize Fellowship, 2003-04 and 2005-06.

(2006). Pearce Award for Academic Excellence, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin- Madison.

(2004-05). Dissertation Research Grant, Center for South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

(2004). McCarty Pre-Dissertation Research Award, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Invited Lectures

Politics after YouTube: Satire, everyday life, and political culture in digital India. Lecture at the Department of Communication, Boston College, April 2015.

Becoming Bollywood: Industrial Identity in an Era of Reform. Presented at conference on India at Leisure, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, February 2015.

Politics after YouTube: Digital Media and the Reshaping of Indian Public Culture. Presentation at conference on Media Activism, Social Science Research Council, University of Pennsylvania, September 2014.

On murderous and other kinds of rage: Participatory culture and politics in an age of globalization. Global Studies Seminar series, Denison University, April 2012.

Diasporic media in an age of media capitals. Department of Culture and Communication, Drexel University, September 2011.

Television, Participatory Culture, and Politics: The case of Indian Idol. Scholarly lecture series at The International Institute and the Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, November 2009.

After Bollywood: Diasporic media in an age of media capitals. Symposium on New Agendas in Global Communications Research, Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas-Austin, October 2009.

Looking L.A., Talking Bombay: Bollywood and the new media world. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, April 2009.

From IndiaFM.com to Radio Ceylon: new media and the making of Bollywood. Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, September 2008.

Conference Presentations

Satire and democratic politics in digital India. Lecture at conference on New Media and Democracy: Global Perspectives held at the University of Oregon, April 2015.

Symbolic Dimensions of Media Activism. Workshop presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2014.

Radio Ceylon in the Indian Ocean Arena: Towards a More Expansive Cultural Geography of Media. Presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2014.

On Murderous and Other Kinds of Rage: Mapping Cultural Politics in Digital India. Paper presented at the Media in Transition Conference, MIT, May 2013.

Television comedy, laughter, and the making of an Indian middle class. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2012, Phoenix.

Participation first, politics next. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2012, Phoenix.

Making room for television comedy: Television, the modern, and the everyday in 1980s India. Paper presented at annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, March 2012, Boston.

Bollywood in the Indian Ocean Arena: An emergent geography of media power. Paper presented at ‘Beyond Normative Approaches: Media and everyday life in Africa’ conference at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, February 2012.

Moving beyond the ‘national’ in global media studies. Presentation at a pedagogy workshop (on teaching global media studies) at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2011, Boston.

Breaking Waves: Media mobility beyond global flows. Panel organizer and chair (with Jonathan Gray) at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2011, Boston.

Television and the struggle for the ordinary. Paper presented at Global Fusion Conference, October 2010, Texas A & M University.

Bollywood in the world: Diasporic entrepreneurs and the promise of digital media. Paper presented at annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, March 2010, Los Angeles.

Provincializing Media Studies, organizer and panel chair, International Communication Association conference, May 2009, Chicago.

“The world isn’t flat, it’s Iggy:” Diasporic television in the post-network era, paper presented at annual conference of the International Communication Association, May 2009, Chicago.

 Rethinking media circulation, plenary session co-organizer, Media-in-Transition conference, April 2009, MIT (with Jonathan Gray).

 Indian Idol: Reality TV and the making of mobile publics. Paper presented at “Real Worlds: Global perspectives on politics of reality TV,” symposium at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, November 2008.

Brokering Bollywood: Film journalism, new media and the production of locality, paper presented at Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008. Organizer and panel chair.

Imagining the NRI Audience: Bollywood, Overseas Markets, and Dot-com Companies. Invited paper presented at annual conference of the International Communication Association, Montreal, May 2008.

 Unboxing Ethnic Television. Workshop Panelist at annual conference of the International Communication Association, Montreal, May 2008.

 Location Matters: Spatial Logics of Bollywood-Dotcom Convergence. Chaired panel and presented paper at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Philadelphia, March 2008.

Film history as a history of media convergence. Invited paper presented at South Asian Cinema conference, University of Pennsylvania, February 2008.

What Brown Can(not) Do For You: MTV-Desi and the Limits of Diaspora. Invited paper presented at Unboxing Television conference, MIT, Boston, November 2007.

Monetizing Citizenship: Bollywood, Dotcoms, and the NRI Market. Paper presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Chicago, March 2007. Panel chair and organizer.

Filmi Addas: Indian cinema, new media, and participatory culture. Paper presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Vancouver, March 2006.

Rahman Online: Notes on Film Music and Fan Collectives. Paper presented at the Media-in-Transition conference, MIT, May 2005.

Rituals of Translation: Bollywood cinema and Indian-American Youth Culture. Paper presented at the Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2004.

Professional Appointments

Assistant Editor, Media, Culture and Society, January 2011-current.

Series Editor, Critical Cultural Communication, New York University Press (November 2014-) [with Jonathan Gray and Nina Huntemann]

Member, Editorial Board, Television and New Media.

Member, Editorial Board, Communication, Culture and Critique.

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, South Asian History and Culture, 2008-current.

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film and Television, 2007-current.

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Transformative Works and Culture, 2008-current.

Consulting Researcher, Convergence Culture Consortium, MIT, 2006-2010.

Journal Article Referee, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 2007-current.

Journal Article Referee, Critical Studies in Media and Communication, 2008-current.

Journal Article Referee, New Media and Society, 2010-current.

University Service

Strategy/Planning Committee for LS&A Winter 2014 India Theme Semester.

Member of Executive Committee, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan (2010-current).

Faculty Search Committee (Global Media & Modernity), Department of Communication Studies, 2012-13.

Faculty Search Committee (Global Media & Modernity), Department of Communication Studies, 2011-12.

Fulbright Campus Review Committee, 2008, University of Michigan.

Graduate Admissions Committee, 2009-10, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan.

Faculty Search Committee (Digital Environments), Department of Communication Studies, 2009-10.

Faculty Search Committee (Race, Ethnicity & Media), Department of Communication Studies, 2008-09.

 

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The media imperialism thesis has long argued that the expansion of Western media production into developing countries has resulted in the domination of their national media environments and the consequent destruction of their indigenous media production. This article examines the empirical tenability of this claim with regard to Asia. Delineating the region's media developments, it identifies forces such as national gate-keeping policies, the dynamics of audience preference and local competition, all of which inhibit and restrict the proliferation of Western cultural production. On the basis of this empirical evidence, the article argues that the claims made by proponents of the media imperialism thesis seem overstated in the Asian context. In conclusion, the article suggests that although media imperialism is perceived as a very real danger by governments, there are in fact several other problematic trends such as the rampant growth of commercialization and the decline of public broadcasting, the dominance of entertainment programming and a lack of genuine diversity in program genres and formats that collectively represent a more significant threat to media systems in Asia.

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