1st Edition

The Politics and Poetics of Indian Digital Diasporas From Desi to Brown

Edited By Yasmin Jiwani, Arjun Tremblay, Mohita Bhatia Copyright 2025
    192 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Politics and Poetics of Indian Digital Diasporas explores the emancipatory potential and pitfalls of digital platforms and how well or how poorly they reflect intra-communal diversities within South Asian diasporic communities.

    This book brings together an international network of scholars, both established and emerging, to explore South Asian diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. It is a comparative cross-national analysis of the intersection of digital technologies and South Asian diasporas. The book centers on three key themes: the ever-presence of digital spaces and the importance of exploring them as focal points for defining and contesting identities; an exploration of how ‘home’ is represented in and across South Asian diasporic communities; and intra-communal diversity in South Asian diasporic communities. The chapters show how digital spaces sometimes create unprecedented opportunities for diasporic communities to mobilise (multi)cultures, sexuality, race, and queerness within South Asian diasporic communities and to move beyond ‘Desi’ and ‘Brown’ as homogenising identifiers. The contributors also demonstrate that digital spaces can be and have been used to reassert internal hegemonies far from homelands. 

    Examining the discursive meanings of South Asian-ness - ‘Desi’, ‘Brown’, ‘South Asians’- the book foregrounds how it is defined, performed, and contested through digital platforms, in ways that redefine the concept of diaspora in innovative, non-territorialized, polyphonic, variegated and dialogic ways. A novel contribution to the intersection of global digital inequalities, digital cultures and the South Asian diaspora, this book will be of interest to a wide scholarly audience of digital media, South Asian diaspora, culture and ethnicity, race, and the politics of resistance and counter-hegemonic mobilizations.

    Chapter 1. From Desi to Brown and Beyond, Yasmin Jiwani, Mohita Bhatia, Arjun Tremblay; Chapter 2. Digital Crevices: Sikh Diasporic and Digital Memories of the 1984 Violence, Shruti Devgan; Chapter 3. South Asian Digital Diaspora and New Wave of Subalternity, Arvind Kumar Thakur; Chapter 4. New Methods for Analysing Digital Islamophobia: Approaches, Challenges, and Opportunities, Zeinab Farokhi; Chapter 5. Digital Disidentifications: A Case Study of South Asian Instagram Community Archives, Prakash Krishnan; Chapter 6. Brown Rang: Popular Perception of ‘Brown’ as a Marker for South Asian Identity, Tarishi Verma; Chapter 7. ‘There’s no singular brown voice’: Sounding out a multiplicity of South Asian diasporic identities through the music of Sarathy Korwar, Nimalan Yoganathan; Chapter 8. ‘Anything to Build a Better Future’: South Asian Celebrities for a New Era, Faiza Hirji; Chapter 9. Digital Dreaming and Diasporic Tech Icons: reading Sundar Pichai’s corporate ascent as an aspirational template, Radha Sarma Hegde and Noopur Raval; Chapter 10. Postscript. Nuances: Going Beyond, Mohita Bhatia, Yasmin Jiwani, Arjun Tremblay; Index


    Yasmin Jiwani is Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University, Canada. She was also the Concordia University Research Chair in Intersectionality, Violence and Resistance (2017-2022). Her research interests include mediations of race, gender and violence in the press, as well as representations of women of colour in popular media.  Her work has appeared in a wide variety of scholarly journals and anthologies. 

    Arjun Tremblay is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Regina. His scholarship focuses on exploring the near and longer-term prospects of the politics of solidarity in and across deeply diverse democracies. He is the co-editor of Assessing Multiculturalism in Global Comparative Perspective: A New Politics of Diversity for the 21st Century? (Routledge, 2023). He was Associate Editor at the Canadian Journal of Political Science and is currently co-Editor in Chief of the Review of Constitutional Studies. 

    Mohita Bhatia is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. She is the co-editor of Religion and Politics in Jammu and Kashmir (Routledge, 2020). Her research interests include everyday life, refugees, ethnic conflicts, quotidian nationalism, citizenship performances, border-making, qualitative research, and digital ethnography.