The NLS Public Lecture Series | On the Book: “The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization”
Room No. 201 (Krishnappa Memorial Hall), 1st Floor, Old Academic Block, NLSIU
Thursday, April 6, 2023, 5:00 pm
Our next public lecture will be delivered by Prof. (Dr.) Francis Cody on his recently published book, The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization (Chicago 2023). The lecture will take place on April 6, 2023 at 5 pm.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Francis Cody is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on politics, language, and media in southern India. His first book, The Light of Knowledge: Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India (Cornell 2013), won the 2014 Edward Sapir Book Prize awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Cody’s new book, The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization (Chicago 2023) explores questions of law, technology, and violence in the context of journalism and populist politics.
In the hypermediated world of Tamil Nadu, Francis Cody studies how “news events” are made. Not merely the act of representing events with words or images, a “news event” is the reciprocal relationship between the events being reported in the news and the event of the news coverage itself. In The News Event, Francis Cody focuses on how imaginaries of popular sovereignty have been remade through the production and experience of such events. Political sovereignty is thoroughly mediated by the production of news. And subjects invested in the idea of democracy are remarkably reflexive about the role of publicly circulating images and texts in the very constitution of their subjectivity. The law comes to stand as both a limit and positive condition in this process of event making, where acts of legal and extralegal repression of publication can also become the stuff of news about news makers. When the subjects of news inhabit multiple participant roles in the unfolding of public events, when the very technologies of recording and circulating events themselves become news, the act of representing a political event becomes difficult to disentangle from that of participating in it. This, Cody argues, is the crisis of contemporary news making: the news can no longer claim exteriority to the world on which it reports.
The event is open to all. We look forward to seeing you at the session!