Sahana Udupa is Professor of Media Anthropology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität LMU Munich and Principal Investigator of For Digital Dignity, Project ONLINERPOL. She is a communications scholar and social anthropolgoist with research and teaching intersts in digital politics, global digital media and extreme speech, online hate speech, online nationalism, media policy and journalism cultures.Udupa is editor of the book series, “Anthropology of Media” for Berghahn Books (with Mark Allen Peterson). She is Associate Editor of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies and serves on the editorial board of American Ethnologist, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism and Television & New Media. She is the co-convener of the Media Anthropology Network, European Association for Social Anthropologists.
Udupa completed her PhD at NIAS Bengaluru and as a visiting scholar at CGCS, University of Pennsylvania. Based on fieldwork in India and among the South Asian diaspora in Europe, her work has traced the transforming media and urban landscapes of late capitalism. Conceptually, her research raises the question of “mediation” as a media technological, performative, and experiential space to articulate political practice.
Her first book, Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2015) is a critical reading of news cultures and urban transformation. It shows how the expanding news media played a critical role in the contested aspiration of building a ‘global city’ in India, when commercial journalism became both an object and agent of global urbanization. More on the book in a podcast on New Books Network here.
The second book (in preparation) explores the political dynamics of social media, to draw attention to the flux of new voices that articulate liberalization friendly “New India” and technological modernity. With Stephen McDowell, she has coedited a volume on South Asian media politics for Routledge (London). Her work has been published in New Media and Society, International Journal of Communication, American Ethnologist, Media, Culture and Society, Communication, Culture and Critique, Economic and Political Weekly, and Critique of Anthropology, among others. She also contributes to popular media and policy debates, and has co-organized media policy symposia in New Delhi involving media practitioners, policy makers, and civil society representatives.
Udupa is Research Affiliate at the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and Center for South Asian Media and Cultural Studies at the Florida State University. She is on the Advisory Board for the Center for Media and Religion at the New York University.
Udupa is Associate Editor of “South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies” and serves on the editorial board of “Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism”