Frames of Reference Seminar 2018


Does the Nation want to know? The Politics of Post-truth

The term ‘Post-truth’ is symptomatic of the kind of political discourse in the world today. In the last few decades, media corporations have increasingly sought spectacles and sensationalism as a way of capturing audiences. Further, various aspects of the same ‘event’ are hidden or revealed depending on the affiliations and ownership patterns of media houses. Similarly, historical events are being reimagined by institutions to maintain social hierarchies and affirm a certain re-imagining of the nation and its citizens. In democratic nations, the arena of politics itself has increasingly become a space of (masculine) performance, framing public opinion and giving impetus to aggressive majoritarianism that sometimes manifests in violence against minorities, supported by a media ecosystem of toxic virality. In this overload of created information, what happens to those on the margins? How do marginal citizens seek representation in a context where the very idea of truth is an arena of contestation?

Dates: 30 November and 01 December 2018

Venue: Old Conference Hall, Old Campus, TISS, Mumbai



Day One

10.15 – 10.30 am: Welcome

10.30 – 11.30 am:                    Hegemonic Discourses and Resistance

Tanushree Rabha, Ritika Gupta, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Distortion of History by “Hindutva Revisionists”: Post-truth in Academics

Aishwarya Kumar, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

Blindness in the Discourse on Caste

Chinar Mehta & Anushree Gupta, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

The Pundits of ‘Technology’: The Construction of Authority in Socio-technical Discourses

Chair: Varun Pandey

Discussants: Mohimarnab Biswas & Vishruti Saraf

11.30-12 noon                        tea break

12 – 12.45 pm:                        Feminist Re-imaginings

Madhavi Shivaprasad, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Politics in/as stand-up comedy: Mahila Manch as a space for alternative humour performances

Shivani Satija, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Narratives of ‘Othering’: Assertions and Reassertions of Identities in Kamathipura

Chair: Nayana Kirasur

Discussants: Harikrishnan HG & Anmol Saini

12.45-2 pm:                lunch

2-3.15 pm                     Rethinking Narratives and Media Re/Presentations

Shriranjan Awate & Rahee S. G, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Maratha Protests in Maharashtra: A Case of Dominant Caste Mobilisation in the Post-truth Era

Sagorika Singha, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

News from Nowhere: Reading Viral Content from Assam.

Twinkle Siwach, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Crime, FIR and Media: In/Justice in Cases of Violence against Women in Contemporary India

Chair: Apoorva Jaiswal

Discussants:  Isha Srivastava, Kavya

3.15-3.45 pm:              tea break

3.45-5.30 pm:             Panel Discussion: ‘#MeToo and the Politics of Representation’


Kalpana Sharma, Varsha Ayyar, Shreya Ila Anasuya moderated by Shilpa Phadke (SMCS)

(organised as part of ‘Listen’, 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women with Media Action Against Rape).


Day Two

10.15-11.15 am                                               Violence and Erasure

Arundhathi B, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

The Banality of Evil: A Study on the Lynch Mobs of India.

Simona Sarma, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

 A Continuum of Post-truth Phenomenon: A Study of the Karbi Anglong Mob Lynching in Assam

Suparba Sil, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

The Semantics of Loss in a Post-Riot Society: An Exploration of the Politics of Remembering and Forgetting

Chair: Pragya Haloi

Discussants: Ankit Pareek & Shrishti Kapil

11.15-11.45 am:                      tea break

11.45-12.30 pm:                                 Critiquing Expertise

Ishani Dey, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Swimming with Whales: A Media Genealogy of the Blue Whale Challenge in India

Sankarsan Behera, Poorvi Priya, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Agrarian Crisis in Post-Truth Era

Chair: Rachel Alexander
Discussants: Medhavi Kimothi & Aayush Chaturvedi


12.30-1 pm:                            Closing Comments and Certificate Distribution