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Migrations in Absentia: Multinational Digital * *Advertising and Manipulation o

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    ———- Forwarded message ———-

    The Postcolonial Studies Group (PSG)

    Spring 2015 Colloquium Series presents:

    Rahul K. Gairola

    *Migrations in Absentia: Multinational Digital *

    *Advertising and Manipulation of Partition Trauma*

    Friday, March 20th 2015

    2:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Rm. 5414

    The Graduate Center, CUNY

    Rahul Gairola contributes to existing and new scholarship in Partition and
    affect studies,

    on the one hand, and cultural and digital humanities studies, on the other,
    as the 70th

    anniversary of the geo-political division of South Asia approaches in
    2017. I begin by

    proposing a rationale for two digital advertisements by Google and Coca
    Cola that

    attempt to capitalize on the trauma of Partition by celebrating both
    products as facilitating

    harmony between India and Pakistan. Indeed, these advertisements market
    “happiness”

    as the ultimate horizon of neoliberal experience for the subjects that they
    depict. While I

    do not here want to undermine the nostalgic value or the raw emotions
    behind the

    subjects and sentiments portrayed, I would argue that it is crucial to
    question the ethical

    dilemmas of marketing products that utopically represent the Partition’s
    communal

    bloodshed. In particular, these advertisements promise what I call
    “migrations in

    absentia” – or the promise of movement across borders without moving from
    one’s geo-

    political space. I conclude that despite the hegemonic pull of both ads, a
    number of

    resistant representations counter their influence in the digital public
    sphere.

    Rahul Krishna Gairola teaches in the Department of English at

    Queens and York Colleges, The City University of New York

    (CUNY). He completed a joint Ph.D. in English and Theory &

    Criticism at the University of Washington after holding fellowships

    at Cornell, Cambridge, and Humboldt universities, and the Simpson

    Center for the Humanities. He has globally published and presented

    academic pieces, and taught at a number of colleges and universities

    in the U.S. His first book manuscript is titled Homelandings:

    Diasporic Genealogies of Belonging and Nation, and is currently

    under review at an academic press. He is, with Amritjit Singh and

    Nalini Iyer, also Co-Editor of a collection of essays tentatively

    titled Revisiting Partition. (rgairola@uw.edu)

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