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Research Focus Group Talk: The Indian Ramayana and Its Regional Performance Traditions

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

In this talk, Paula Richman will provide a brief survey of the major performance traditions in which the Ramayana narrative is enacted in different regions of India, including Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam. She will then provide analyses of two examples of how specific sets of theatrical conventions shape the representation of familiar characters. The 1954 Tamil mythological drama, “The King of Lanka,” starring Manohar, begins and ends as a conventional ...

Talk: Black Like Moi: Performing Race with Rouch and Cassavetes

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

This paper analyzes interactions between blacks and whites depicted between 1957 and 1961 in Jean Rouch’s I, a Black Man, The Human Pyramide, and Chronicle of a Summer. It concludes with remarks on Shadows, a 1958-59 feature film by John Cassavetes often credited as a breakthrough in U.S. independent filmmaking. In so doing, I mean to explore what Rouch and Cassavetes were trying to accomplish through production practices that bordered on the experimental. Major topics to be raised include: ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Epistemological Revolution in Japan’s Long 1968

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

A focus on student actors has often led historians of Japan to dismiss the idea of epochal change in “the long 1968.” This talk adopts the perspective of the older generation of Japanese social scientists to show these years as a watershed in the basis of authoritative knowledge. The existing historiography often presents these scholars as reactionary. I show how they, in concert with their colleagues abroad, actually anticipated and indeed accelerated epistemological revolution. Born ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Reforming the Centralised State: Decentralization Paradigms in the Drinking Water Sector in India and the Philippines

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

This talk will examine decentralized reforms in the drinking water sector in India and the Philippines from a policy perspective focused on institutional design and implementation at the local level. It has been argued that institutional architecture for decentralized reforms is contested and requires better understanding of power and politics in shaping decentralization designs and outcomes. The paradigm of Indian decentralization is endogenous, and from this one can suggest that greater devolution in the water ...

Talk: Keeping it Real? Vinyl Records, Digital Media, and the Future of Independent Culture

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Feedback loops abound between digital media and contemporary vinyl culture. The majority of record sales occur online, the download code is a familiar feature of new vinyl releases, and turntables outfitted with USB ports and Bluetooth are outselling traditional models. The manufacture of records cannot be digitized; however, as with most commercial culture today, vinyl traffic is driven by algorithms and thrives on social media. Furthermore, the ascent of streaming over the past five years ...

Research Focus Group Talk: The Highway, Automobility, and New Promises in 1960s Bombay Cinema

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

A fascination for color in the 1960s led to Bombay cinema’s mobilization of the hinterland as the site for a new future. With the development of Indian highways and an increase in automobility, a new map of India now occupied the cinematic imagination. This talk will explore the links between the infrastructure of automobile culture, the highway, industrial development outside the city, and 1960s Bombay Cinema. Ranjani Mazumdar is Professor of Cinema Studies at the ...