Next Thursday, March 3, Ashmi Desai, PhD Candidate in Communication, will discuss her research on "Media Representations of Maoism in Central India."
For more than four decades, communist revolutionaries have been agitating for systemic change in India, leading to a loss of thousands of lives while highlighting pertinent issues of economic, caste and gender inequality, displacement and indigenous rights. In 2004, two large Maoist factions merged to form Communist Party of India-Maoist appointing their base in the Dandakaranya forest region of central India, home to around 21 million indigenous peoples, close to a fourth of the country's indigenous population. The Indian government has been combating the outlawed Maoist forces in this region for years now, calling them, "the gravest internal threat to India's security." This research attempts to understand how the print media as well as identified stakeholders co-construct two incidents of Maoist violence, and the symbolic consensuses that come forth in this discourse production. These questions are explored through an examination of themes and discursive practices employed in talk and text , arising from 30 interviews conducted with former Maoists, politicians, policemen, army officials, corporate officials and journalists, researcher reflections and press reportage.
The talk will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be held in the CAS Conference Room, 1424 Broadway, two doors north of Starbucks on University and Broadway. Lunch will be served.