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Rohit Chopra: The 26/11 Network-Archive: Memory, History in an Age of Global Terror

Chopra's talk examines online constructions of public memory of the November 2008 or ‘26/11’ terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. I argue that: (a) the terrorist attacks of 26/11 were memorialized online in the form of a hybrid ‘network-archive’ of old and new media content generated by media organizations as well as by lay users; and that (b) the 26/11 network-archive is informed by a distinct mode of public memorialization based on an idea of historical responsibility as the criterion for bearing witness to terror.   Through an analysis of the theme of 26/11 as ‘India’s 9/11,’ he shows how the relationship between memory and history in the 26/11 network-archive complicates our understanding of the local and global meanings of acts of terror. The experience of terror functions as a bridge between local suffering and global belonging in the online memory discourse of 26/11.
Rohit Chopra’s research and teaching center on global media and cultural identity, new media technologies, and postcolonial media. He is the author of Technology and Nationalism in India: Cultural Negotiations from Colonialism to Cyberspace (Cambria 2008), co-editor of Global Media, Culture, and Identity: Theory, Cases, and Approaches (Routledge 2011), and editor of “Reflections on Empire,” a special issue of the Economic and Political Weekly. Rohit is currently working on two book projects: one, on the relationship between digital media, memory, and violence; and the other, on the ethics of memory on the Internet. Before joining graduate school in the US, Rohit worked at, an Internet start-up in Bombay. He co-founded and co-edited Interjunction, a not-for-profit online publication that ran from 2008 to 2010. Rohit writes on media, culture, and politics for a number of American and South Asian publications and blogs at Chapati Mystery.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 12:00 PM


Encina Hall West, Room 208


Center for South Asia


Free and open to the public.