Centre for Internet & Society

Digital Humanities Alliance of India - Inagural Conference 2018 - Keynote by Puthiya Purayil Sneha

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha

The inaugural conference of the Digital Humanities Alliance of India (DHAI) was held at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore on June 1-2, 2018. The event was co-organised by the IIM and the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, with support from the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. Puthiya Purayil Sneha was a keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was titled ‘New Contexts and Sites of Humanities Practice in the Digital’. Drawing upon excerpts from a study on mapping digital humanities initiatives in India, and ongoing conversations on digital cultural archiving practices, the keynote address discussed some pertinent concerns in the field, particularly with respect to the growth of digital corpora and its intersections with teaching learning practices in arts and humanities, including the need to locate these efforts within the context of the emerging digital landscape in India, and its implications for humanities practice, scholarship and pedagogy.

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New Contexts and Sites of Humanities Practice in the Digital (Paper)

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha

The ubiquitous presence of the ‘digital’ over the couple of decades has brought with it several important changes in interdisciplinary forms of research and knowledge production. Particularly in the arts and humanities, the role of digital technologies and internet has always been a rather contentious one, with more debate spurred now due to the growth of fields like humanities computing, digital humanities (henceforth DH) and cultural analytics. Even as these fields signal several shifts in scholarship, pedagogy and practice, portending a futuristic imagination of the role of technology in academia and practice on the one hand, they also reflect continuing challenges related to the digital divide, and more specifically politics around the growth and sustenance of the humanities disciplines. A specific criticism within more recent debates around the origin story of DH in fact, has been its Anglo-American framing, drawing upon a history in humanities computing and textual studies, and located within a larger neoliberal imagination of the university and academia. While this has been met with resistance from across different spaces, thus calling for more diversity and representation in the discourse, it is also reflective of the need to trace and contextualize more local forms of practice and pedagogy in the digital as efforts to address these global concerns. This essay by Puthiya Purayil Sneha draws upon excerpts from a study on the field of DH and related practices in India, to outline the diverse contexts of humanities practice with the advent of the digital and explore the developing discourse around DH in the Indian context.

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Digital Native: Web of Wander

by Nishant Shah

The idea of travel as a way of expanding our horizon has now been made redundant.

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Infrastructure as Digital Politics: Media Practices and the Assam NRC Citizen Identification Project (Draft Paper)

by Khetrimayum Monish Singh

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam focuses on updating the list of Indian citizens in the state. A highly sensitive, controversial and massive exercise, the government has had several strategies to manage this project. One of the ways has been in which the government has engaged with and positioned itself, vis-a-vis the media, specifically through Facebook and Twitter, and on its own official website. This paper by Khetrimayum Monish Singh and Nazifa Ahmed is a discourse analysis of media content and user opinions on Facebook, and media responses on the NRC official website. These reflect bureaucratic practices of efficiency, transparency, trust and anxiety management; user feedback, confusion, political concerns and opinions help in accounting for and navigating through the system, and contribute to building up the NRC as an information infrastructure. We focus on how these two processes through media practices co-produce 'the sociotechnical building and maintenance' (Star and Bowker, 1999; Star and Ruhleder, 1996) of the NRC as an information infrastructure.

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Digital Native: The e-wasteland of our times

by Nishant Shah

How digitising isn’t necessarily a fast-track to a sustainable future.

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Digital Native: Delete Facebook?

by Nishant Shah

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

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Making Humanities in the Digital: Embodiment and Framing in Bichitra and Indiancine.ma

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha

The growth of the internet and digital technologies in the last couple of decades, and the emergence of new ‘digital objects’ of enquiry has led to a rethinking of research methods across disciplines as well as innovative modes of creative practice. This chapter authored by Puthiya Purayil Sneha (published in 'Making Things and Drawing Boundaries: Experiments in the Digital Humanities' edited by Jentery Sayers) discusses some of the questions that arise around the processes by which digital objects are ‘made’ and made available for arts and humanities research and practice, by drawing on recent work in text and film archival initiatives in India.

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Information Infrastructures, State, and Citizens: An Initial Literature Survey

by Khetrimayum Monish Singh

Our approach to unpacking the nature of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) as an information infrastructure is centered on how it mediates the relationship between the Indian state and its citizens. In this sense, an information infrastructure is not end in itself, rather it is a means to an end. In our case, the end is the eventual differentiation between citizens and immigrants in Assam and the updated NRC is the means to practically achieve it. As the updated NRC is put to use, it simultaneously creates a particular conception of what the Indian state looks like and defines a new terrain of making claims to citizenship. By extension, it creates a new form of Indian citizenship enacted by tuples of data stored in the updated NRC. Thus, while paying close attention to the historical narratives of identity politics in Assam (Baruah 1999; Hazarika 1994; Roy 2010), our initial survey of literature speaks to the nature of this mediation. We focus on how scholars in a diversity of fields, ranging from Information Science (IS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) to Anthropology and Political Science, have engaged with how state infrastructures mediate the state-citizen relationship. We have divided this literature survey into three parts and we will specify the questions that we would like to ask of our field at the end of each part. This survey was undertaken by Khetrimayum Monish Singh, Ranjit Singh, Palashi Vaghela, and Nazifa Ahmed.

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Designing Urban Nervous Systems

by Ambika Tandon

Dr. Anupam Saraph will be holding a talk on 'Designing urban nervous systems' at the CIS on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. The talk will revolve around looking at cities as living organisms, with nervous systems at the center of their being.

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Digital Native: A new road to justice

by Nishant Shah

Making the List takes courage and strength. It involves the formation of a new collective of care.

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