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Francis Cody & Venkatesh Chakravarthy | Trends in Tamil Populism
April 8, 2016, 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Francis Cody’s research focuses on language and politics in southern India. He first brought these interests to bear on a study of literacy activism, citizenship and social movement politics in rural Tamilnadu, published as a book called The Light of Knowledge (Cornell 2013). This book won the Edward Sapir Book Prize from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Cody’s recent work is centered on news media, and it traces the emergence of populist politics through print-mediated publicity in Tamil cities and small towns. Taken as a whole, his work contributes to the transdisciplinary project of elaborating critical social theories of mediation in the postcolonial world.
Venkatesh Chakravarthy has founded and directed academic programs in film and media studies, in Chennai and in Hyderabad, and taught in Penang, Malaysia. He is also a well known script-writer, film-maker, and scholar. Chakravarthy started writing on cinema particularly in the vernacular way back in the mid 1980s as an active member of the alternative film culture movement. In 1985, he co-authored a short Tamil book Marabu Meeria Cinema (The Unconventional Cinema), on the French New Wave. Following this he wrote an analytical essay on the films of Bharathi Raja and a series of articles on other Tamil films and the social history of Tamil Cinema, Caste in Tamil film and so on in avant garde literary journals, mainstream magazines and newspapers.