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01 April 2021
South Asian Popular Culture Digital Humanities
South Asian cultural studies seem to be mostly stuck in pre-digital era methodologies; not many scholars have studied what the advent of the digital has meant for arts and different forms of cultural practices in the subcontinent. For example, Bollywood started its transition into digital from analogue modes of filmmaking and distribution more than half a decade ago; and yet, studies on the impact of the digital are scarce. Although there have been some sporadic engagement with what the different facets of digitality might mean for film production and consumption, there are virtually no studies on what the proliferation of what Lev Manovich calls ‘new media’ has meant for film culture in the subcontinent. Similarly, there has been no sustained investigation into the ways in which new media intersects with other forms of arts and culture and how that shapes popular culture at large.
As digital technologies of creation and dissemination enable more and more people to create, re-create, and share media content online, the corpus of user-generated media objects is rapidly surpassing the corpus of canonical media objects like films, music, literature, and arts. It is therefore crucial, now more than ever, that we adopt the new methodological and discursive practices of disciplines like Digital Humanities and Screen Cultures, and as they are in conversation with other disciplines across the arts and humanities and sciences. We must critically examine the changing landscape of popular culture and its practices in and out of the subcontinent and its diasporas to understand the ways in which the logic of the digital seeps into the processes and forms of media creation in the twenty-first century.
We invite contributions from scholars across disciplines working on arts, humanities, and social sciences for a special issue of South Asian Popular Culture on _Digital Humanities to be published in 2022. Topics might include but are not restricted to:
• Critical explorations of Digital Humanities as a term and concept and its uses in analysing popular cultural practices of South Asia.
• The uses of Digital Humanities and Screen Cultures in drawing up “new” methodological and discursive horizons to highlight issues of political, economic, social, and cultural significance in the Indian subcontinent.
• The impact of digital production, dissemination, and consumption practices on the cinemas of South Asia.
• The uses of Digital Humanities and Screen Cultures to analyse user-generated media content and how they shape our online cultural ecologies.
• The rise of the aesthetic society: digital media manipulation technologies and the value of visual aesthetics in social media.
• The uses of computer-assisted technologies to study arts and culture.
• The economies of the digital: critical explorations of market proliferation and pro-digital policymaking.
• The uses of media objects and digital culture in grassroots politics.
• The uses of Digital Humanities and Screen Cultures to analyse the digitisation of public engagement and knowledge exchange in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
• The physical in the digital: technologies and infrastructures that sustain digital culture.
• Digital Humanities in the archives.
• Digital Humanities in conversation across the arts, humanities and sciences.
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We invite 6-7,000 words research articles for peer review, or shorter pieces for inclusion in our Working Notes section of this special issue.
For information on SAPCs house style please see: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=rsap20
Deadline for submission of final articles: 1 April 2021. The special issue ‘South Asian Popular Culture _Digital Humanities’ will be published in 2022.
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