Areas of research and interest
Journalism cultures, digital media politics, global urbanization, media policy
Regional focus: India, South Asian diaspora in Europe
Institut für Ethnologie
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9614
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9602
Sahana Udupa is a communications scholar and social anthropologist with research and teaching interests in journalism cultures, digital media politics, religion, global urbanization, and media policy. Previously, she was Research Fellow and currently a Senior Research Partner at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. Prior to joining LMU, she was Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at the School of Public Policy, Central European University.
In 2016, Udupa received the European Research Council Starting Grant award for her project on digital media politics in India and among the diaspora in Europe. She commenced the project at LMU in May 2017, building a team of doctoral and postdoc researchers, as well as a global network of collaborators. The project is accepting applications for the PhD and postdoctoral positions. For more on the project, visit www.fordigitaldignity.com
Based on fieldwork in India and among the South Asian diaspora in Europe, her work has traced the transforming media and urban landscapes of late capitalism. Conceptually, her research raises the question of "mediation" as a media technological, performative, and experiential space to articulate political practice.
Her first book, Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2015) is a critical reading of news cultures and urban transformation. It shows how the expanding news media played a critical role in the contested aspiration of building a 'global city' in India, when commercial journalism became both an object and agent of global urbanization. More on the book in a podcast on New Books Network here.
The second book (in preparation) explores the political dynamics of social media, to draw attention to the flux of new voices that articulate liberalization friendly "New India" and technological modernity. With Stephen McDowell, she has coedited a volume on South Asian media politics for Routledge (London). Her work has been published in leading journals including American Ethnologist, New Media and Society, International Journal of Communication, Media, Culture and Society, Communication, Culture and Critique, Economic and Political Weekly, and Critique of Anthropology. She also contributes to popular media and policy debates, and has co-organized media policy symposia in New Delhi involving media practitioners, policy makers, and civil society representatives. She is also involved in the India-Pakistan track two dialogue on new media and alternative narratives.
Sahana Udupa is Research Affiliate at the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and Center for South Asian Media and Cultural Studies at the Florida State University. She is on the Advisory Board for the Center for Media and Religion at the New York University, and on the editorial board of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism.