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

Episode 13: Religious Nationalism and Political Comics (November 2018)

This month we talk about Religious Nationalism with Peter van der Veer and Political Comics with Appupen.




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

Peter van der Veer’s relevant work

[2018] (edited with Kenneth Dean) The Secular in South, East, and Southeast Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[2017] (edited) Prayer and Politics. London: Routledge.

[2016] The Value of Comparison. Durham: Duke University Press.

[2015] (edited) Handbook of Religion and the Asian City. Aspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[2014] (edited with James Miller and Dan Smyer Yu) Religion and Ecological Sustainability in China. London: Routledge.

[2013] The Modern Spirit of Asia. The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Appupen’s relevant work

The Snake and the Lotus

Legends of Halahala


The Dystopian Times



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