2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies

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2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies

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November 2017

Research Focus Group Talk: The Highway, Automobility, and New Promises in 1960s Bombay Cinema

November 8, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

A fascination for color in the 1960s led to Bombay cinema’s mobilization of the hinterland as the site for a new future. With the development of Indian highways and an increase in automobility, a new map of India now occupied the cinematic imagination. This talk will explore the links between the infrastructure of automobile culture, the highway, industrial development outside the city, and 1960s Bombay Cinema. Ranjani Mazumdar is Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her publications focus on urban cultures, popular cinema, gender, and the cinematic city. She is the author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City (2007) and co-author with Nitin Govil of The Indian Film Industry (forthcoming). Her current research focuses on globalization and film culture, the visual culture of film posters, and the intersection of technology,

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May 2018

Talk: Keeping it Real? Vinyl Records, Digital Media, and the Future of Independent Culture
Michael Palm

May 4, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Feedback loops abound between digital media and contemporary vinyl culture. The majority of record sales occur online, the download code is a familiar feature of new vinyl releases, and turntables outfitted with USB ports and Bluetooth are outselling traditional models. The manufacture of records cannot be digitized; however, as with most commercial culture today, vinyl traffic is driven by algorithms and thrives on social media. Furthermore, the ascent of streaming over the past five years has boosted record sales, creating both-and markets for “flow” and “publication” media, distinguished by Raymond Williams as being accessed or acquired by consumers. Contemporary vinyl culture demonstrates how digital media can play a vital role in any community organized around a shared appreciation for cultural forms and formats, analog or otherwise. Eschewing nostalgia for records as (merely) a reprieve from digital saturation, in this talk

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October 2018

Research Focus Group Talk: Reforming the Centralised State: Decentralization Paradigms in the Drinking Water Sector in India and the Philippines
Satyajit Singh

October 16, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This talk will examine decentralized reforms in the drinking water sector in India and the Philippines from a policy perspective focused on institutional design and implementation at the local level. It has been argued that institutional architecture for decentralized reforms is contested and requires better understanding of power and politics in shaping decentralization designs and outcomes. The paradigm of Indian decentralization is endogenous, and from this one can suggest that greater devolution in the water sector will lead to greater democratization across other sectors. However, given the biases of international development assistance in the Philippines, decentralization has taken the form of privatization in a Philippine province. While highlighting the important role that the provision of safe drinking water can play in poverty alleviation, Singh will suggest that privatized reforms have failed to address wider concerns related to the public goods

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April 2019

Research Focus Group Talk: Epistemological Revolution in Japan’s Long 1968
Miriam Kingsberg Kadia

April 17, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A focus on student actors has often led historians of Japan to dismiss the idea of epochal change in “the long 1968.” This talk adopts the perspective of the older generation of Japanese social scientists to show these years as a watershed in the basis of authoritative knowledge. The existing historiography often presents these scholars as reactionary. I show how they, in concert with their colleagues abroad, actually anticipated and indeed accelerated epistemological revolution. Born in the two decades from 1900-1920, “transwar” social scientists assumed leadership of their disciplines in the 1930s and maintained intellectual hegemony across the chronological divide of World War II. They were linked by shared demographic characteristics and, more importantly, through a common commitment to objectivity. Transcending the domestic intellectual community, conviction in objectivity drew together a transnational network of scholars able to trust and engage

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May 2019

Talk: Black Like Moi: Performing Race with Rouch and Cassavetes
Steven Ungar

May 22, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This paper analyzes interactions between blacks and whites depicted between 1957 and 1961 in Jean Rouch’s I, a Black Man, The Human Pyramide, and Chronicle of a Summer. It concludes with remarks on Shadows, a 1958-59 feature film by John Cassavetes often credited as a breakthrough in U.S. independent filmmaking. In so doing, I mean to explore what Rouch and Cassavetes were trying to accomplish through production practices that bordered on the experimental. Major topics to be raised include: (1) what reading across these films completed on opposite sides of the Atlantic discloses concerning cinematic treatments of relations between blacks and whites between 1957 and 1961; and (2) how such cross-reading contributes to a fuller understanding of Rouch’s films in a transnational context.   Steven Ungar has taught French literature & thought, Comparative Literature, Translation, & Film at The University of Iowa since 1976.

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