Online Gods – A Podcast about Digital Cultures in India and Beyond

Episode 10: Critiques of the Public Sphere and Fake News Busting (August 2018)

This month we talk with with Francis Cody about the public sphere and Govindraj Ethiraj about fake news busting



Online Gods is part theoretical exploration into some of the key concepts in the anthropology of media, and part research into how increased online interaction is changing the public sphere. Taking India and the India diaspora as its focal point, the podcast continues in the great anthropological tradition of bringing the global and the specific into conversation with one another as it analyses what online discussions do to political participation, displays of faith and feelings of national belonging. We are also intrigued as to whether a podcast can produce ethnographic theory. We believe It is possible to be both sophisticated and yet comprehensible, and that the spoken form can bring forth an accessibility that is sometimes missing from the written form. We even wonder whether academic podcasting might herald a technologically-enabled return to the centrality of oral traditions in intellectual exploration – can podcasting weaken reading’s hegemonic hold on consumption of academic knowledge? Online Gods is a key initiative of the project ONLINERPOL and is an official podcast collaborator of the American Anthropological Association. This podcast is hosted by Ian M. Cook and Sahana Udupa.

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Further Reading

Francis Cody’s relevant work:

2015. “Populist Publics: Print Capitalism and Crowd Violence Beyond Liberal Frameworks.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. special issue: Media/Utopia, edited by Arvind Rajagopal and Anupama Rao. 35(1): 50-65.

2011.  “Publics and Politics” Annual Review of Anthropology, 40:37-52.

2011.  “Echoes of the Teashop in a Tamil Newspaper.” Language and Communication, Special Issue: Mediatized Processes in Contemporary Societies, edited by Asif Agha, 31(2):243-254.

2009. “Daily Wires and Daily Blossoms: Cultivating Regimes of Circulation in Tamil India’s Newspaper Revolution,” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 19(2): 286-309.

Sahana’s work on abuse culture:

2018. Gaali cultures: The politics of abusive exchange on social media. new media & society, 20(4), 1506-1522.

Govind’s public journalism websites:

India Spend


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