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

Episode 8: The Public Sphere and Digital Privacy (April 2018)

This month we speak to Craig Calhoun about the public sphere and Sunil Abraham about digital privacy.



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 cohosted with HAU Network for Ethnographic Theory. This podcast is hosted by Ian M. Cook and Sahana Udupa.

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Further Reading


Craig Calhoun


Habermas and the Public Sphere (Edited by Craig Calhoun), 1992, MIT Press

Habermas and Religion. (edited  by Calhoun, C., Mendieta, E. and VanAntwerpen, J.) 2016. John Wiley & Sons.


Sunil Abraham

Do we need the Aadhar scheme? (Business Standard, February 1, 2012)

Sense and Censorship (Indian Express, January 20, 2012)

Privacy and Security can Co-Exist (Mail Today, June 21, 2011)

Snooping Can Lead to Data Abuse (Mail Today, June 9, 2011)



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