Centre for Internet & Society

Details of a session proposed by Pritha Chakrabarti and Dr. Baidurya Chakrabarti for the Internet Researchers' Conference 2019 - #List.


Internet Researchers' Conference 2019 - #List - Call for Sessions

Session Plan

The broad basis of the discussion would be the lists that address and invoke aspirations to know, particularly what has come to be known as 'listicle'. The focus would also be on social media and other digital platforms, including blogs and fan clubs, which list out cultural objects like books, films, music, etc. that one must not miss. On one hand, many of such listicle-s are essentially advertising devices and, in that way, descendants of the bestseller list and such that one used to encounter on the pages of The Hindu and so on. On the other, we have similar lists made by fans and culture enthusiasts, and the consumers. Both of these play on a specific type of aspiration and the attendant anxiety, expressed in common parlance as FoMo, i.e. Fear of Missing Out, in this specific case the fear of missing out on knowing/knowing about something. But FoMo, as a dominant structure of feeling in contemporary society, in the context of listicle-s, begs many more questions: what is one afraid to miss out and how intense can that fear be? Who is afraid to miss out and what does missing out represent to them? Who decides what can be missed and what not? What is deemed to be the proper content of listicle-s and what is not; and what are the repercussions of the list form on the overall repository of knowledge from which the listicle-s are culled? What is the difference and continuity between lists meant as content that leads to commercial advertisement and lists made by the consumers? What happens when one begins to increasingly learn everything from the list form? Is there a 'list knowledge', the way there is a 'bookish knowledge'? What are the political repercussions of such 'list knowledge'?

The sessions will begin with two presentations/short papers (15 minutes each), mainly to provide an initial guide map for the discussion. The next 45 minutes will be devoted to discussion with the audience, so as to list out the complex factors and facets the conjugation of listicle and FoMo has produced, which will be moderated by both the presenters. The final 15 minutes will be assigned to the summarization of the points discussed by the speakers.

Session Team

Dr. Baidurya Chakrabarti is an Assistant Professor at the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, Pune. Besides receiving his doctoral degree in Cultural Studies from EFL University, Hyderabad, he has also worked in the publishing industry as well as a content editor in the corporate sector. His doctoral dissertation maps the ideological terrain of contemporary Bollywood against the rise of neoliberalism in India. His areas of interests include contemporary film cultures, digital modernity, particularly digital cinephilia, comparative cultural studies, etc.

Pritha Chakrabarti is an independent researcher based out of Hyderabad. She has recently submitted her doctoral dissertation titled Politics of Screen Dance in Indian Cinema in the department of Cultural Studies at EFL University, Hyderabad. A recipient of the ICSSR-CSDS doctoral fellowship, she has worked on the ideology of on-screen choreographic construction and dissemination and reception of film dance as popular culture. Professionally a Content Manager, she has nearly a decade-long experience in marketing content generation, both offline and online.


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