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Art of Brand India: Aesthetics and Economy of Hope in the early Twenty-First-Century

Monday, January 31, 2022 at 11:00am

Virtual Event

Talk by Ravinder Kaur (South Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen)

In this talk, I unpack the affective-material entanglements of the moment of “opening up” of the Indian economy. The great transformation of the nation-form into commodity-form – Brand India – 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 the Director of the Centre of Global South Asian Studies 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 “Financial Times Best Book of the Year” in 2020 and longlisted for the “Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize” 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).

Co-sponsored by the History Department

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, History


asianstudiescal, cascal, cashum



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Gloria Lemus-Chavez

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(607) 253-2038

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