Pallavi Rao

PhD Student

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  • Research and Creative Interests

    South Asia, Transnational Media, Braminism, Feminisms, Celebrity, Indian nationalism, Globalization and culture,


    My personal and intellectual investments are in studying caste and gender as categories of difference within the South Asian context, both in media and through my particular lived experiences as an upper-caste woman in India. In my research and teaching, I situate Indian media as a site where regimes of caste and gender are reproduced through the production of public discourses of 'India' and 'Indian culture'. I am currently studying how Hindu caste elites construct Brahminical masculinity as a normative category in Engish-language media, both by the invocation of Hindu nationalism as well as in the liberal-secular narratives of 'Indian' diversity, neither of which, I suggest, allow for a liberatory anti-caste feminist vision of community or nationhood. My work thus relies heavily on conceptualizations of caste and gender by anti-caste thinkers such as Ambedkar, Phule and Periyar.

    My long-term research, I hope, will expand the understanding of how media cultures and texts constantly negotiate hegemonic conceptualizations of caste, masculinity and citizenship in contemporary India.