When we work or play through digital technologies – we also live in them. Communities form, conversations and social movements emerge spontaneously and through careful offline planning. While we have used disembodied communication and transportation technologies in the past – and still do – we have never before actually synchronously inhabited these communicative spaces, routes and networks in quite the way we do now. Digital Diasporas engages conversations across a selection of contemporary (gendered) Indian identified networks online: “Desis” creating place through labour and affective network formation in secondlife, Indian (diasporic) women engaged in digital domesticity, to Indian digital feminists engaged in debate and dialogue through Twitter.
Through particular conversations and ethnographic journeys and linking back to personal and South Asian histories of Internet mediation, Gajjala and her co-authors reveal how affect and gendered digital labour combine in the formation of global socio-economic environment.
1.Radhika Gajjala, Gendered Indian Digital Publics: Digital and Domestic
2.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Sriya Chattopadhyay, Sarada Nori, Shobha S.V., and Puthiya Purayil Sneha, Dialogue Interlude: Ghar and Bahir
3.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Shilpa Phadke, Dialogue Interlude: #WhyLoiter
4.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Sukhnidh Kaur, Varsha Ayyar, Nithila Kanagasabai, and Divya Kandkuri, Dialogue Interlude: Centering Marginalized Feminists
5.Radhika Gajjala, Gendered Indian Digital Publics: Digital Streets
6.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Debipreeta Rahut and Damini Kulkarni, Dialogue Interlude: Pushing on and Nuancing the Framework
7.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Smita Vanniyar, Dialogue Interlude: The Digital Queer Question
8.Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Christina Thomas Dhanaraj, Dialogue Interlude: Reflections on Digital Mediation and on becoming and being a Dalit Feminist Thought Leader
Conclusion: Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Kaitlyn Wauthier, Afterthoughts: Different Ways of Writing Together and Unfinished Conversations
Radhika Gajjala is Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Her previous books include Cyberculture and the Subaltern (Lexington, 2012) and Cyberselves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women (Altamira, 2004). She has co-edited collections including Cyberfeminism 2.0 (Peter Lang 2012), Global Media Culture and Identity (Routledge 2011), South Asian Technospaces (Peter Lang 2008) and Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice (Hampton Press2008).
She is also a member of the Fembot Collective and FemTechnet and is co-editor of ADA: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.
Radhika Gajjala has been an important expert on digital culture in India and the United States for decades, as well as an innovator in ethnographic research. This book exemplifies her deep commitments to feminist scholarship and to collaborative methodologies. For those wishing to understand phenomena such as hashtag feminism or digital domesticity, Gajjala’s insights about online behavior among members of the vast South Asian digital diaspora are powerful, complex, and deeply engaged with the lives of her subjects and fellow researchers.
Building on insights developed over years of feminist ethnographic engagement in digital and offline spaces, in this volume Radhika Gajjala attempts to push the boundaries of her own work, in terms of both process and substance. This valuable work complicates and fills out our understanding of South Asian digital diasporas by challenging the false binaries of ghar and bhair, or domestic and public, throwing into the mix the dynamics of caste, gender, religion and geographic location, opening up many questions that will continue to vex us—as feminists, as media scholars, and as occupants of multiple digital worlds.
Radhika Gajjala's generosity as a scholar, and commitment to representation is exemplified in this collection that is constructed through a series of dialogues with feminist collaborators and thinkers. Her approach sets a high bar for intersectional scholarship, and consequently succeeds in capturing the complex nature of contemporary Indian feminism with nuance. Gajjala's work covers a wide range of contexts, from queer activism to questions of caste, providing readers with a collection of indispensible insights essential to understanding how the digital shapes each of these lived experiences in myriad ways.