Art of Brand India: Aesthetics and Politics of Hope on the New Frontiers of World Economy

Speaker: Ravinder Kaur
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2023-3-21 | 20:00-21:30 (Shanghai)
2023-3-21 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2023-3-21 | 16:00-17:30 (Abu Dhabi)

In this talk, I unpack the affective-material entanglements of the moment of ā€œopening upā€ of the Indian economy. The great transformation of the nation-form into commodity-form ā€“ Brand India ā€“ entailed more than structural adjustments and free-trade formula prescribed by the global financial institutions. It took shape upon the tantalizing promise of the great spectacle of capitalist growth stories unfolding across the old third-world. Drawing upon my recent work Brand New Nation, I trace the affective and bureaucratic designs of the dreamworlds of New India, the hopes and anxieties, contradictions and speculations, and the production of an authentic Hindu civilizational identity in the circuits of twenty-first-century global economy.

Ravinder Kaur is a historian of contemporary India. She is Associate Professor of Modern South Asian Studies and directs the Asian Dynamics Initiative at the University of Copenhagen. Her core research focuses on the processes of capitalist transformations in twenty-first-century India. This is the subject of her most recent book Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India (Stanford University Press, 2020). This work was selected as the ā€œFinancial Times Best Book of the Yearā€ in 2020 and longlisted for the ā€œKamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prizeā€ in 2021. She is also the author of Since 1947: Partition Narratives among the Punjabi Migrants of Delhi (Oxford University Press, 2007; 2nd edition, 2018).

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Professor of History, Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.



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