This talk will respond to contemporary trends in media studies that argue for “dewesternizing” media studies as a move towards “globalizaing” media studies. While applauding such well intentioned arguments about ‘dewesternizing” media studies, this talk will suggest that simply engaging in ‘dewesternizing’–that is simply looking at the Non West–does not necessarily result in a politics and project of decolonizing media/communication studies that it badly needs. If media/communication studies is to be transnationally responsive and responsible, and be informed by a transnational ethical sensibility (which is different from “international”) it needs to move towards a project of decolonization–decolonization of our theories, epistemes, sensibilities as well as our academic spaces. An additive and benign move of ‘dewesternizing” that simply includes, instead of disrupting, non western frameworks into our mainstream canon does not always unsettle the eurocentric (and often colonial) ethos of western media studies’ canon. Issues of transnational (and colonial) power relations, and the geopolitical imbalance within which academic knowledge is produced, must be addressed as well. Ultimately, if our discipline is to be committed to a politics of social justice, what is needed then is decolonization, not simply dewesternization, of our theories, imaginations, and spaces. In this context, this talk will also discuss the limits of the notion of “comparativism” or “comparative” that also seems to be in vogue today.
About the Speaker
Dr. Raka Shome writes on on postcolonial cultures, transnational feminism, and media/communication cultures. Her current research interests are in Asian Modernities, Transnational relations of India, Racism and Media in a global context, Transnational Media Cultures and Gender, and the Transnational politics of knowledge production as a communication issue. Dr. Shome has published numerous articles and book chapters in leading journals and anthologies in the field of Media and Communication Studies . She is the author of Diana and Beyond: White Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2014)—a book that examines how new sets of postcolonial relations in contemporary western cultures are mediated through images of white femininity. The book has garnered international attention and has been reviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (interviewed in their radio show), Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement, Journal of Communication, European Journal of Communication, New Formations, Fashion Style and Popular Culture, Soundings, Quarterly Journal of Speech among others.
Under her co-guest editorship, the first-ever special issue on “Postcolonialism” was published in the field of Communication Studies in the International Communication Association journal Communication Theory (August, 2002). She recently also guest edited a special issue on “Asian Modernities” (2012) in the (Sage) journal Global Media and Communication, which included several articles focused on the question of what it means to be “modern” outside of liberal western frameworks. She recently guest edited a special issue as guest editor for Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies journal on ‘Gender, Nation, Colonialism: Twenty first century connections.’ She has held full time faculty appointments at London School of Economics, Arizona State University and University of Washington. In fall 2014, she was invited by the Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden (that typically hosts leading international cultural studies scholars) to serve as a visiting scholar. She is currently beginning a new project entitled “Spectacular Nationalism and Contemporary India”
Dr. Shome has delivered several talks (including keynotes and plenaries) and workshops, nationally and internationally, on issues of postcoloniality, gender, transnational feminism, and racism in contemporary global contexts. In November 2016, she will be a keynote speaker at University of Melbourne at the Mobility, Gender and Social Transformations in Asia Conference. Some of her other recent keynote and plenary talks have been at London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Soderton University, Goethenberg University, Rhetoric Society of America (Madison, WI), German Communication Association.
She has been a past chair of the Cultural Studies Division of National Communication Association (NCA). She has received research awards from National Communication Association such as ‘Outstanding Article Award’ (twice) from Critical/Cultural Studies Division, the New Investigator Award from Rhetoric and communication Theory Division, Distinguished Scholar (co-awardee) from International and Intercultural Division, As a graduate student she was the recipient of the Bostrom Research Award from Southern States Communication (given to promising graduate students for research) and Peterson Award (for top paper), also from Southern States Communication Association. She is listed in Who’s Who of America (Marquis, 2004)
Date: 16 August 2016
Time: 3pm – 4pm
Venue: CNM Meeting Room