Media and Utopia: History, imagination and technology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Media and Utopia

History, imagination and technology, 1st Edition

Edited by Arvind Rajagopal, Anupama Rao

Routledge India

354 pages | 9 Color Illus. | 20 B/W Illus.

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Collective political projects have become ephemeral and are subject to radical forms of erasure through cooptation, division, redefinition or intimidation in present times. Media and Utopia responds to the resulting crisis of the social by investigating the links between mediation and political imagination.

This volume addresses those utopian spaces historically constituted through media, and analyses the conditions that made them possible. Individual essays deal with non-Western histories of technopolitics through distinctive perspectives on how to conceive the relationship between social form, everyday life, and utopian possibility, and by examining a range of media formats and genres — from print, sound, and film to new media. With contributions from major scholars in the field, this book will be of interest to researchers and scholars of media studies, culture studies, sociology, modern South Asian history, and politics.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations. Notes on Editors and Contributors. Introduction: Arvind Rajagopal Part I: Archive and Imagination 1. The Cinematic Soteriology of Bollywood Arjun Appadurai 2. Fetish Power Unbound: A Small History of ‘Woman’ In Chinese Cinema Rey Chow 3. Civil Contract of Photography in India Christopher Pinney Part II: Genealogy 4. Tracking Utopias: Technology, Labour, and Secularism in Bombay Cinema (1930s-1940s) Debashree Mukherjee 5. National Becoming, Regional Variation, and Everyday Moments: U.P. and the Film Enquiry Suzanne L. Schultz 6. Museum as Metaphor: The Politics of an Imagined Ahmedabad Pooja Thomas Part III: Nostalgia 7. The Labour of Self-Making: Youth Service Workers, and Post-Socialist Urban Development in Kolkata Saikat Maitra 8. Nostalgia and the Mediatic Imagination in Tito’s Yugoslavia Gabi Bockaj 9. Past Futures of Old Media: Gulam Mohammed Sheikh’s Kaavad: Travelling Shrine: Home Karin Zitzewitz 10. Sonic Ruptures: Music, Mobility, and Media Shikha Jhingan Part IV: Newness 11. Media and Imagination: Ramananda Chatterjee and His Journals in Three Languages Kalyan Chatterjee 12. Radical Intervention in Dystopian Media Ecologies Anindya Sekhar Purakayashta and Saswat Samay Das 13. Posthuman Amusements: Gaming and Virtuality B. S. Bini Part IV: Word and the World 14. Populist Publics: Print Capitalism and Crowd Violence Beyond Liberal Frameworks Francis Cody Part VI: Political Theology 15. On Innocence: Blasphemy, Pan-Islam and the Uneven Mediation of Utopia On Barak

About the Editors

Arvind Rajagopal is Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, and an affiliate faculty in the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. His book Politics after Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India (2001) won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize, and his edited volume The Indian Public Sphere appeared in 2009. His recent essays have been on the political culture of post-independence India. He is currently writing about the history of publicity.

Anupama Rao is Associate Professor of History, Barnard College, Columbia University. She has research and teaching interests in the history of anti-colonialism; gender and sexuality studies; caste and race; historical anthropology, social theory, and colonial genealogies of human rights and humanitarianism. Her book The Caste Question (2009) theorises caste subalternity, with specific focus on the role of anti-caste thought (and its thinkers). She is currently working on a book on the political thought of B. R. Ambedkar as well as a project titled Dalit Bombay, which explores the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay.

About the Series

Critical Interventions in Theory and Praxis

The volumes published in the Series will be devoted to current interventions in theory and its application. Issues addressed will engage with questions like the place of the human sciences in the age of technology; cultural studies and their implications for literature; the interface between science and philosophy; the teleology of Theory as a new topos; environmental and ethical issues in education; relations between globalised knowledge and indigenous sources of inquiry; identity debates in democracies and other forms of governance in both east and west; the role of media in relation to epistemies of violence; and reflections on the destiny of humankind. This, however, is not exhaustive, and the Series welcomes creative interventions on similar lines.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies