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Methamorphoses of Media: Between the Law and the Street in Tamil Politics

  • Francis Cody
Tuesday 18 April 2017
Modern South Asia Seminars
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Conference room

This presentation will elucidate the changing role of news media in shaping politics in Tamil Nadu, South India.  Arguing that we are at a turning point in the structure of political mediation in the state, the paper first examines the role of defamation law and then turns to events of violent crowd reactions to news stories.  Both means of shaping the contours of the public sphere rely on populist logics of representation that have been fused to the political image‚Äôs commodity value.  With the introduction of networked media technologies, however, the world of news media and politics that had developed around the single-screen cinema theatre is now increasingly dependent on forms of political entrepreneurship that are replacing the mass mediated hierarchical intimacy that once stood at the heart of Tamil populism.




Francis Cody is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute, the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Light of Knowledge (Cornell 2013) about activism in South India. His more recent research traces transformations of political publicity through Tamil and English news media. 

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