Centre for Internet & Society

Sunil Abraham, Director-Policy, CIS, is to take part in a panel discussion on 'Media, Technology, and Governance' at the International Communication Association Pre-Conference on 'India and Communication Studies' on 21 May 2009, 1.00-2.15 pm.



Sponsored by the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University for Pennsylvania, and Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

Title:  India and Communication Studies

Time:  Wednesday, May 20, 13:00 – 19:00 and
            Thursday, May 21, 8:00 – 17:00

Limit:  50 persons

Cost: $100.00USD (Includes refreshment breaks, lunch and reception)
           $50.00USD Students


• Monroe Price, Director, Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
• Biswajit Das, Director, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi
• Aswin Punathambekar, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
• Radhika Parameswaran, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Indiana University, Bloomington


India plays an increasingly important role in the processes of globalization, including the global production of culture and the communications technology industry.  At the same time, the field of communication studies in India is expanding.  Yet there is no Indian Communications Association and little in the way of considered and formal review of contributions to the field. 

This pre-conference is an effort to create a new coherence and a new salience for this subject by mapping the area of communication and culture studies in India; to strengthen ties among leading and emerging scholars and institutions in India and elsewhere; to develop and cultivate a research agenda for the field; and to explore the creation of an Indian Communication Studies Association.

The pre-conference will take place over 2 days.  The first day will be dedicated to paper presentations from emerging scholars on a diverse range of issues, including media and cultural representations, gender, minorities, issues of nationalism and culture, and structural questions of governance. 

The second day will be centered around three panels, which will address the development of communication studies in India; issues of technology, governance and development; and a discussion of scholarship about India. The organized panels will draw from academia, business, civil society, and government/policy-making circles.
Schedule for India and Communication Studies ICA Pre-Conference:

May 20 (Day One):

13.00 – 13.15 Opening Remarks, Monroe Price and organizers
13.15 – 14.30 Paper presentations: Session 1
14.30 – 15.45 Paper presentations: Session 2
15.45 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.15 Paper presentations: Session 3

Moderators for paper sessions: TBC

17.30 – 19.00 Reception for pre-conference participants and guests

May 21 (Day Two):

8.00 – 9.00: Breakfast for pre-conference participants

9.00 – 10.15 Opening Keynote Discussion -- India and Cultural Pathways: Reflections on Identity, History and Scholarship:

The opening keynote will address the history of communications/media studies in and about India, placing it in the broader context of global communication studies and globalization and international relations.

• Biswajit Das, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University
• Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green University
• Sevanti Ninan, Honorary Secretary, The Media Foundation (TBC)
• Arvind Singhal, University of Texas (TBC)
• Daya Thussu, University of Westminster

Moderator: Monroe Price, Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

10.15 – 10.30 – Coffee Break

10.30 -- 11.45 Panel One: The Complex Challenge of Developing Communications Studies in India

This panel will seek to begin mapping the intellectual network of scholars that has informed communications scholarship in and about India.   Panelists will discuss the history and development of "Indian" communication studies, including the approaches taken towards this subject; the competition between production and commercial goals and theoretical study; and the institutional and other pressures and challenges encountered by emerging programs..

• Biswajit Das, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University
• Vinod Pavarala, University of Hyderabad
• Anjali Monteiro, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
• Atul Tandon, MICA
• Peng Hwa Ang, MICORE

Moderator: Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University

11.45 – 13.00 –Lunch

13.00 – 14.15 Panel Two: "Media, Technology & Governance"

This panel will be approached through cases as presented by the panelists.  It seeks to (a) open the door to the growing work on the IT industry and ICT for Development; and (b) outline a tighter set of analytics to encourage a stronger connection  between academic research & public policy in India.

• David Page or William Crawley (TBC), Media South Asia Project, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, UK
• Victoria Farmer, Department of Political Science and International Relations SUNY-Geneseo
• Steve McDowell, Department of Communication, Florida State University
• Sunil Abraham, Director (Policy), Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore
Moderator: Vibodh Parthasarathi, Associate Professor, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University

14.15 – 14.30 Coffee Break

14.30 – 15.45 Panel Three: Nodes of Contact: How to Map Scholarship about India

This panel aims to map the intellectual patterns and trajectories in media and communications scholarship on India. Panelists will address specific areas within communications research--gender and interdisciplinarity, new media, diaspora, television, and media production and reception--to chart and analyze the theoretical and empirical terrain that scholars have covered, and to suggest new and productive directions for future research.

• Radha Hegde, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University
• Shanti Kumar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin
• William Mazzarella, University of Chicago
• Ananda Mitra, Department of Communication, Wake Forest University 
• Hemant Shah, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Moderator: Radhika Parameswaran, School of Journalism, Indiana University

15.45 – 16.15 Concluding Remarks and Wrap-up

This last part of the ICA Pre-Conference Program will feature open discussion and commentary from the organizers and audience.


For more information about this pre-conference, please contact Susan Abbott, Associate Director, Center for Global Communication Studies: [email protected]


Click here to read this information on the ICA website.

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