Journalists have long been aware of the fact that representations of violence in the news can be construed as offensive acts and can even lead to more violence. This awareness accounts for many kinds of public secrecy around questions of casteist violence in the press. But the emergence of mass forensics in news reporting, both in mainstream media and in the world YouTube commentary, has short circuited some of the ethical and aesthetic norms of this public secrecy.
Join speaker Francis Cody for a presentation on how citizens have been interpellated to join collective analyses of violent crimes in mass forensic events, where the rhetoric of science conflicts with the logics of spectacle propelling the circulation of the event. The performativity of mediatized violence has been reconfigured in this process.
This talk is part of the Southern Asia Studies Series, which will have programming through 2023-2024.
How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.
Francis Cody is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute, as well as acting as the Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. His research has focused on politics, language, and media in southern India.
His first book, The Light of Knowledge: Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India (Cornell 2013), won the 2014 Edward Sapir Book Prize awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. He has also co-edited Bernard Bate’s posthumous book, Protestant Textuality and the Tamil Modern: Political Oratory and the Social Imaginary in South Asia (Stanford 2021). Cody’s newest book, The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization (Chicago 2023) explores questions of law, technology, and violence in the context of journalism and populist politics.