Workshop: Language, Culture and Urban Publics: April 1st -3rd, 2004.
This workshop will engage in a dialogue between research into histories of print cultures and the new linguistic practices in contemporary media and urban spaces. The workshop is intended to revisit the debates on identity and politics together with attention to forms from magazines to cassettes to films and television as well as new performative spaces such as call centers discussion-lists and chat rooms. Our premise is that these dialogues would provide diverse critical vantage points from which to engage with issues of language and culture as they enable various strategies of dwelling in and imagining the city. Older forms of expression in print and speech have been under significant pressure in the contemporary with the emergence of electronic communication, leading to both innovation and anxiety. The workshop will focus on content, form, styles and circulation of linguistic cultures. The primary focus will be on South Asia, though we welcome proposals on other regions that provide a comparative perspective. While the focus of the workshop is the contemporary transformations, it would perhaps be useful to see the contemporary as the contested site of continuity as well discontinuity.
Histories of urban print cultures - Popular print forms: pamphlets, 'pulpfiction', little magazines and small towns.
Urban imaginaries in literary cultures.
Radio and Broadcasting: 'National language' and local publics, contemporary FM cultures.
Print and the challenge of contemporary media forms: television, mobile, SMS, hybrid forms, copy culture.
Music: cassette cultures, regional and migrant music, parody.
Styles of Engagement: Accents, idioms, slang, performative speech and
identity: from the streets to chat rooms to Call Centres.
Speech as Sales pitch: advertisement, propaganda, and bazaar language.
Language as Politics
Poetics of Adaptation
Please send 200-300 word abstracts to the email address below by January 20th,2004.
We will cover travel and board of South Asian participants who are selected to present at the workshop. In the case of international presenters we will cover all local costs, in rare cases of people without institutional support we might support travel.
Sarai is a program of CSDS, one of India's best-known research centers. Sarai's work is on urban culture and the media.
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