Call for Researchers: Media and the Constitution of the Political @ International Centre of Advanced Studies, Delhi: Apply by Nov 5

ICAS: MP, TM7, invites applications for junior researcher positions. These are for archival collections, ethnographic research and interviews, and legal research, under the supervision of module coordinators Ravi Vasudevan (CSDS) and Srirupa Roy (University of Goettingen).

The thematic focuses of the research include:

Social Media, Data and Information infrastructures

This project looks at data and information infrastructures that have emerged from the rise of social media. The expansion of social media and low-cost mobile phones has seen rapidly growing data collection infrastructures at all points in India. Governments have been modernising data collection while addressing paper-based systems.

Private companies work with a host of smaller intermediaries and advanced analytics to analyse and make sense of data.  Networks that work with mobile phones increasingly rely on a steady stream of data about user experiences.

Research sites may include government information systems, small scale data collection agencies, media companies, new start-ups that take social media experiences as a significant site of their work. Researchers should be able to combine field work with an interest in conceptual issues posed by social and digital media.

Crowds, Media and Democracy

Research will focus on crowd formations in and through media, from photography and poster art through newsreel and fiction film and sonic technologies such as loudspeakers, to video and the contemporary virality of social media circulation and aggregation. It will explore how media have been deployed to capture, project, invite identification with and mobilize people as mass formations.

The project will explore a range of media archives, and their framing by key categories of political discourse, crowd, mass, procession, assembly, riot, uprising, revolution; how they are attached to legal discourse, evidence, culpability, and contest; and how they relate to the political, in terms of tracking key sites, vectors and scales of transformation.

Media in Times of War

This project will explore the relationship between war, media technologies, and the register of the political. Our aim will be to look at how media – radio programmes, photographs and posters, newsreel, propaganda, instructional, educational and fiction films, video film, websites, blogs  and social media – capture and reflect on war, at the front, in barracks and camps, but also in the relation between “home” and the front, as zones which produce men, material and affect.

We are also interested in the latency of war, as in the dispersal, distribution, and supra-legal shoring up of military force into border regions, and through paramilitary networks. We are interested in levels of information and publicity about military and paramilitary forms, the levels of visibility and secrecy through which the relationship of the civil and the military is calibrated.

We are also interested in the entanglement of media technology with war – as technologies of vision, of seeing and targeting, of listening and surveillance, as deployed by humans and machines – and in the overlap of peace-time and war-time technologies.

Law and Media

This project addresses the penetration of law by media, ie, where law has more than an external and regulatory relationship to media, but is a sphere whose material forms, practices and symbolic edifice are constituted by media. Here, we would like to consider how police stations, legal practices, law courts, forensic procedures and cyber-labs become the site for a variety of media practices, discourses about media, and relate to the complicated phenomena of the media trial.

Scholarship attentive to law and its cultural forms has noted how the court has a certain theatrical quality, in its formal and ritual qualities of performance. It also acquires a cinematic force in the articulation of the visual, the visceral, and the verbal, as it re-expresses the boundaries of permissible discourse in adjudicating censorship.

In this project we propose to research more broadly the media form of the world of law: in legislative acts, first information reports and police diaries, judicial pronouncements, case law and file work.

We will research paper and speech, graphics and indexical traces, and the status of recorded speech on tape, cassette, as audio-file, new analytic engagements with the voice, and the use of analog and digital video as evidence. We propose ethnographic research, legal research into legislations and case law, and archival research.

Journalism after the Emergency

In collaboration with ICAS: MP Thematic Module 3 on democracy, researchers will be invited to work with, classify and add to interviews conducted with leading journalists going back to the time of the Indian Emergency, 1975-1977.

How to apply

Research will be conducted under the supervision of module coordinators. The duration of research, and the level of compensation, will be determined by project needs and researcher experience.

Send a statement of purpose of one page, indicating how you would contribute to any of these research themes, along with a CV, to

Laila Abu-Er-Rub, Head of Administration, ICAS:MP [email protected]

The applications should reach no later than 5 November 2018.

For official notification, click here.

 

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