ATNU Virtual Speaker Series - Rahul K. Gairola - 2022-03-31
Our next speaker in the ATNU Virtual Speaker Series Rahul K. Gairola who is the Krishna Somers Senior Lecturer in English & Postcolonial Literature and a Fellow of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Rahul will talk to us about how digital technology in the 21st century is re-shaping literacy, textuality, identity, and activism in queer culture throughout the Indian diaspora. Join us on Thursday 31 March 2022 via Zoom at 1pm UK time (BST). (We will send the zoom link to all registered attendees shortly before the event.)
If you missed this talk, there is a recording of it here.
Digital Homes: Technology and Sexuality in the Indiaspora
Dr. Rahul K. Gairola
Thursday 31 March 2022
In this talk, I aim to critically engage with how digital technology in the 21st century is re-shaping literacy, textuality, identity, and activism in queer culture throughout the Indian diaspora, or what I call “the Indiaspora.” The talk extends and complicates earlier research pursued in my first two book projects by tracking production of “home sites” in cyberspace and other virtual dimensions of material life online. In the project, critically interrogate divergent mediums of postmillennial culture including digital music, digital advertising, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other such electronic platforms in the context of South Asian Digital Humanities to explore the following questions: In what ways does the dramatic rise of digital technology, like mobile phone use and smart phone apps, re-shape how we critically meditate on texts, identity, agency, design, growth, and the future? How is the total population of India, at about 1.4 billion, re-calibrating the very meanings of “literacy,” “belonging,” “community,” and “friendship”? What are the material, socio-economic, ways in which technology pervades the cultural lives of youths in the world’s largest democracy? What are the impacts of the Digital India drive and ideology on the youth of India where 50 percent of the population is 25 years old or younger? This talk thus views cultural texts as archives of the living present in the age of Digital India that are far under-theorized despite being constellated around the key concept of “home.” This talk moreover situates the concepts of “home,” and “technoculture” in the context of social justice issues around race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality in social justice and intersectionality projects by key digital humanists working in the field.
Bio: Rahul K. Gairola, Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle) is The Krishna Somers Senior Lecturer in English & Postcolonial Literature and a Fellow of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He is co-editor and author/ co-author of five books including South Asian Digital Humanities: Postcolonial Mediations across Technology's Cultural Canon (London: Routledge, 2020); Migration, Gender and Home Economics in Rural North India (New Delhi: Taylor & Francis, 2019); and Homelandings: Postcolonial Diasporas and Transatlantic Belonging (London & New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). He is co-editor of special issues of Journal of Postcolonial Writing, South Asian Review, and Asiascape: Digital Asia, and previously taught at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India; and The City University of New York and Seattle University, USA. He has attended digital humanities forums including DHSI 2018, DHOxSS 2018, and ESUDH 2017, 2018, and 2019. He is the Editor of the Routledge/ Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) South Asian Book Series. In 2019, The Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne appointed him a Digital Champion for Western Australia, and he remains a Lifetime Member of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, UK. He has published widely on the interface of digital culture and identity in the context of postcolonial, diaspora, and queer studies.
Last modified: Wed, 11 May 2022 14:09:34 BST