03 Feb Moving Technologies: Global Icons in South Asia
Bishnupriya Ghosh (English, University of California, Santa Barbara)
Wednesday, February 3 / 4:00 PM
3041 Humanities and Social Sciences Building
Icons have a glittering life in South Asia, both as enduring images and as fleeting ephemera. We have lengthy and erudite studies of liturgical icons as well as their fallen counterparts, the movie stars, while theorists of popular visual culture present richly nuanced investigations of specific art forms such as calendar art or chromolithography. Yet much work remains to be done on everyday mass media images suddenly potentialized in acts of embodied adoration or desecration in historical situations where they attract opprobrium, physical attacks, and high affect. Focusing on a sleepy South Indian village, Plachimada, Kerala, where a resplendent red-and-white Coca-Cola graphic prompted improvisatory expressive performances against Coca-Cola’s ground-water extraction, the lecture made a case for the importance of mass mediated images in the formations of the popular.
Bishnupriya Ghosh is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel and Corporeal Apertures: The Lives of Global Icons.