The Cultures of New India - University of Brighton Faculty of Arts
of New India
30 January 2016
University of Brighton
Prof. Daya Thussu (Co-Director of India Media Centre, University of Westminster;
author of Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood, Palgrave/Macmillan)
Dr Emma Dawson-Varughese (author of Reading New India, Bloomsbury)
The twenty-first century has been full of predictions of Indian success. Declarations of ‘India
Rising’, ‘India Shining’, a new ‘Indian Century’ occur regularly. While the economies of Europe and
the Americas have stagnated, the economies of Asia appear to be booming and a new generation
of Indians now see themselves as the agents of globalization. Many aspects of Indian society
appear transformed by this new prosperity with a new class of young, wealthy, urban Indians
challenging the stereotypes of life in their country. Yet, commentators on this phenomenon are
keen to point out that India’s move from Nehruvian values to liberalizing consumerism has
produced a peculiarly Indian version of neoliberalism, one that responds to Indian values of the
family and of the state just as much as to any, seemingly, universal ideas about wealth and
freedom. At the same time, many of the inequalities of caste, class, gender and region persist.
India’s rural poor remains beset by the challenges of the last century and appears immune to
the supposed benefits of consumer citizenship that are enjoyed by an urban elite. Corruption, so
often associated with India’s state infrastructure, remains the celebrity cause of the self-appointed
representatives of Young India. Alongside the anxieties about women workers in the new servicesector industries, India has recently been confronted with a high-profile rape-crisis and a deeply
embedded culture of misogyny.
How then has culture, both from within and outwith India, responded to India’s new identity?
What do literature, film and popular culture have to tell us about the nature of India’s modernity?
How do the official and un-official versions of India’s self-presentation compare?
How do international impressions of India sit with the nations self image?
We invite proposals (c300 words) for papers that investigate these questions.
Among other topics, these might consider:
Representations of youth culture | Generational conflict | Call centre work/
workers | Gender and the new India | Indian neoliberalism | Contemporary
Indian nationalities (NRI/PIO and beyond) | Indian New Wave and Art Cinema
| Bollywood as a global brand | Communalism and the New India | India and
social media | The languages of Indian culture.
DEADLINE: email your proposal and short bio to
[email protected] by 30 Sept 2015
Further info and registration: arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/c21/events
Organised by C21: Centre for Research in Twenty-First
Century Writings, University of Brighton