This summer program takes students to Mumbai (three weeks) and Beijing (three weeks) to investigate contemporary media practices in India and China. We approach media as practices deeply embedded in the political, social and economic ecologies of the respective societies. The course covers a variety of contemporary media, from the operations of Bollywood blockbusters to no-budget, independent videos; from internet poetry written by migrant workers to oppositional media practices by queer and minority activists. Through visits to sites of media production, exhibition and consumption, and meetings with a wide array of media practitioners, we study media practices in India and China comparatively, with discussions on (post)colonial conditions, authoritarianism, urbanization, globalization, and oppositional politics.
The goal is to expand our assumptions about what comprises “media”, learn methodological approaches for studying media practice, and try to understand everyday aspirations and contradictions in contemporary India and China through a comparative lens.