[Air-l] CFP: South Asian Digital Diasporas

Radhika Gajjala radhika at cyberdiva.org
Sat Aug 21 04:12:37 PDT 2004

NOTE: I have an expression of interest from Peter Lang

If you have work you'd like to submit for this,
Please send a 500 abstract and bio to radhika at cyberdiva.org

If you have a near complete essay - go ahead and submit that as well.

South Asian Networks: Digital Diasporic Circuits

Editor: Radhika Gajjala

1. Brief Description:

This project examines issues related to South Asian transnational networks 
(economic, mediated, digital and so on) and diasporic circuits that are 
technologically mediated in various ways. Technology and its use has shaped 
and in turn been shaped by dominant production processes, community 
practices and cultural activities throughout history. Nowhere is this more 
obvious than in the practices of travel, communication, labor flow and 
economic systems fostered by modern and postmodern modes of work and play 
through an engagement with various digital technologies. Therefore the 
essays in this anthology examine various issues regarding labor, migration 
and globalization at the intersection of the digital and the analogue 
specifically in relation to South Asia and South Asian Diasporas, in an 
effort to show how technology, migrancy and globalization are linked to our 
everyday lives.

Contributors thus examine (directly and indirectly) issues related to 
technologically mediated diasporic spaces. Issues of voice and 
voicelessness as well as of marginalization, ventriloquizing and Othering 
based on gender, race, class, sexuality and geographical location emerge as 
some central concerns. Problematizing both transnational and diasporic in 
relation to technological environments and globalization, this collection 
grapples with issues at such intersections. Taking seriously Gayathri 
Spivaks interrogation of transnational, diasporas, old and newin relation 
to the Gramscian subaltern (Spivak, 1997), and based in issues raised 
through the editors prior work in this area (see Gajjala 1998, 1999, 2000 
forthcoming 2004 and Gajjala and Mamidipudi 1999) this collection engages 
questions that point to the contradictions that emerge when these issues 
are put in conversation with digitaland related technological environments.

Some implicit and explicit questions are: What kind of migratory subjects 
emerge in transnational spaces and in digital diaspora , at the 
intersection of the local and the global? What regulatory fictionsand 
theoretical frames shape and constrain manifestations of identity 
formations and communities online? What literacies are demanded in the 
performance of cyber-bodies? What bodies are allowed embodiment through 
technologies? Viewed at the intersection of cultures and communities of 
production, what kinds of bodies produce what kinds of technologies? What 
are the socio-cultural transformations demanded in the name of 
"technological literacy" and "development"? Exploring the ontology and 
epistemology of "cyberspace," some of these essays raise questions 
regarding the impossibility of "the subaltern's" access to the 
socio-economic globalization manifested in cyberspace.

Processes of globalization rely on a complex layering of discourses and 
daily practices related to information technology, digital media, 
lifestyles based on the celebration of  globalizing consumer cultures as 
well as on the seemingly contradictory invoking of national culture (as 
defined through postcolonial bourgeoisie nation-building ideologies). 
Online discourses and material practices within such technological 
environments are a result of such complexly layered and nuanced practices 
in realspaces and are visibly manifested in the various online contexts. 
Even in these virtual environments, participants do not leave their bodies 
behind.  Hence the virtual/real distinction sets up a false binary that 
cannot be substantiated when we analyze engagement with online 
environments.  Part of what the analyses in the chapters in this book do is 
to try to unravel the dichotomy between the virtual and the real.

             Thus Economics and Culture intersect and interweave within 
digital spaces to produce global and local encounters, circuits and 
networks. Cyberculture is not simply or essentially the west or the whole 
world; male or female,  white or black yet it is situated within unequal 
power relations that must be examined in detail in relation to various 
categories of race, caste, gender, sexuality and geography, and at various 
conjunctures and disjunctures. The purpose of our project is to open up 
theoretical considerations for continued attempts at mapping these 
connections between the economic, cultural, digital, local and the global. 
These connections can be mapped at various local/global intersections and 
every such contextual analysis will reveal the various ways in which these 
work together and contribute to the production of power relations within 
which discourses and practices of globalization are situated. The chapters 
in this proposed collection do this in a variety of ways. This is an 
interdisciplinary project, drawing on multiple methodologies for studying 
what has come to be known as digital culture.

Radhika Gajjala

Associate Professor
Dept of IPC/School of Comm Studies
315 West Hall
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403

fax - 419-372-0202

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