Submit abstracts for the international symposium “Digital Politics in Millennial India”

Submit abstracts for the upcoming international symposium “Digital Politics in Millennial India” (15-17 March 2018) organized jointly by Project ONLINERPOL and IIITD Delhi. Deadline for abstracts 15 October 2017.


Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany.
Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi (IIIT-Delhi).

Sahana Udupa, Professor, LMU, Germany
Aasim Khan, Asst. Professor, IIIT-Delhi
Shriram Venkatraman, Asst. Professor, IIIT-Delhi

The phenomenal expansion of Internet media in India in the last two decades has enabled new forms of political participation in the public domain, while also facilitating hitherto unimagined ways of consolidating domination and state power. In spite of the limited access and wide social inequities in terms of access and use, online media has been used as a mobilizing tool by Indians engaged across a range of social and political movements. From the recent student led campaigns in campuses across Indian universities to the digitally enabled civic activism against corruption, the rise of online networks has decisively changed the face of public activism and public cultures. As digital natives, India’s millennials are increasingly drawn into online media to mobilize, satirize, and express their interest in political matters.

India’s 350 million Internet users constitute the world’s second largest online user base, next only to China. The promise of digital governance has led to a massive state- led agenda for digitization. Digital media cultures have grown by leaps through WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a variety of new media platforms. Studies on digital media’s political and social ramifications are yet to reflect the magnitude and potential of Internet growth in a vast, fractious and deeply diverse polity such as India. What kinds of political participation are the Internet and mobile media cocreating? How are they enabling new imaginations and articulations of citizenship and belonging, especially for the youth who constitute the most active community in India’s online public domain? What voices are amplified and what are effaced? What tactics are crafted and what affects are inspired?

We invite scholars and digital media activists in India and researchers studying the Indian diaspora for an international symposium in Delhi to take up some of these questions. Together, we aim to unpack the Internet media as information sources, rumor machines, affective affinity spaces, vehicles of propaganda, and objects of state policy as they increasingly shape the political present.
We are particularly interested in local and regional digital political cultures and public activisms that contest and articulate religious politics.

Topics include but are not limited to

  •  Internet enabled protest cultures
  •  Cultures of digital vigilantism
  •  Right-wing nationalism
  • Dalit media
  • Queer media
  • Gender and new media
  •  Trolling and abuse
  • Urban activism and civic media
  • Internet regulatory debates
  • History of regional digital politics
  • Religious freedom and expression

We invite contributions that are based on original empirical research on the Internet enabled media using the perspectives of ethnography, history, cultural studies, digital humanities, policy studies and/or computational data sciences. All contributions must be related to contemporary political participation in India. We especially invite contributions that are based on ground fieldwork and extend the scope of digital politics research to cover the vernacular and non-metropolitan settings.

Attendance to the symposium will be fully funded. Organizers will cover international and local travel and accommodation expenses.

Please send the extended abstracts of 1200 words with the subject line “Digital Politics in Millennial India” on or before 15 October 2017 to

Shortlisted participants will share the working paper (4000 words) one month prior to the symposium. The conference will contribute to a themed volume on media cultures featuring essays for academic as well as general readership. We encourage authors to use jargon free language.

The symposium is jointly hosted by Project ONLINERPOL funded by the European Research Council Starting Grant at LMU, Munich, Germany, and the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities/Center for IT and Society, IIITD

You can download the material of the workshop here.


ForDigitalDignity Project ONLINERPOL
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