Research

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay last modified Apr 03, 2018 08:06 AM
Digital Humanities Alliance of India - Inagural Conference 2018 - Keynote by Puthiya Purayil Sneha

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

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha — last modified Jun 26, 2018 12:02 PM

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.

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

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

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

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha — last modified Jun 26, 2018 09:40 AM

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.

New Contexts and Sites of Humanities Practice in the Digital (Paper) - Read More…

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

by Khetrimayum Monish Singh — last modified May 15, 2018 03:35 PM

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.

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

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

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

by Puthiya Purayil Sneha — last modified Jun 25, 2018 12:50 PM

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.

Making Humanities in the Digital: Embodiment and Framing in Bichitra and Indiancine.ma - Read More…

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

by Khetrimayum Monish Singh — last modified May 15, 2018 03:22 PM

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.

Information Infrastructures, State, and Citizens: An Initial Literature Survey - Read More…

Life of a Tuple: National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Reform of Citizen Identification Infrastructure in Assam

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Jan 22, 2018 11:02 AM

We are proud to announce that a research grant from the Azim Premji University has enabled us to initiate a study of the ongoing updation process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and the resultant reform of citizen identification infrastructure in India. The study is being led by Khetrimayum Monish Singh and Ranjit Singh, along with Sumandro Chattapadhyay. Here we present an initial brief about the study.

Life of a Tuple: National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Reform of Citizen Identification Infrastructure in Assam - Read More…

Exploring Big Data for Development: An Electricity Sector Case Study from India

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified May 31, 2017 09:45 AM

This working paper by Ritam Sengupta, Dr. Richard Heeks, Sumandro Chattapadhyay, and Dr. Christopher Foster draws from the field study undertaken by Ritam Sengupta, and is published by the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. The field study was commissioned by the CIS, with support from the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield.

Exploring Big Data for Development: An Electricity Sector Case Study from India - Read More…

Evaluating Safety Buttons on Mobile Devices: Preview

by Rohini Lakshané and Chinmayi S.K. — last modified Sep 10, 2017 06:45 PM

Much technological innovation for women is aimed at addressing violence against women. One such ubiquitous intervention is mobile device-based safety applications, also known as emergency applications. Several police departments in India, public transport services, and commercial services such as taxi-hailing apps deploy a mobile device-based “panic button” for the safety of citizens or customers, especially women. However, the proliferation of safety apps through both public and private players raises several concerns, which will be studied through this study by Rohini Lakshané of the CIS and Chinmayi S.K. of The Bachchao Project. Research assistance for this report was provided by CIS intern Harish R.S.K. Visualisations by Saumyaa Naidu.

Evaluating Safety Buttons on Mobile Devices: Preview - Read More…

Digital transitions in the newsroom: How are Indian language papers adapting differently?

by Zeenab Aneez — last modified Feb 03, 2017 01:50 AM

In a new report published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Centre for Internet and Society, Zeenab Aneez explores how Indian newsrooms are adapting their workflow and processes to cater to an increasing digital audience and the implications these changes have on how journalists produce news.

Digital transitions in the newsroom: How are Indian language papers adapting differently? - Read More…

Indian Newspapers' Digital Transition

Indian Newspapers' Digital Transition

by Zeenab Aneez — last modified Dec 09, 2016 07:12 AM

This report examines the digital transition underway at three leading newspapers in India, the Dainik Jagran in Hindi, English-language Hindustan Times, and Malayala Manorama in Malayalam. Our focus is on how they are changing their newsroom organisation and journalistic work to expand their digital presence and adapt to a changing media environment. The report comes out of a collaboration between the CIS and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, and was supported by the latter. The research was undertaken by Zeenab Aneez, with contributions from Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Vibodh Parthasarathi, and Sumandro Chattapadhyay.

Indian Newspapers' Digital Transition - Read More…

Document Actions