Mass Culture Workshop, April 5: Rakesh Sengupta, “Media Archaeology and the Counterhumanism of the Majority World”

Dear all,

Please join us for the second Mass Culture Workshop of the spring quarter with Rakesh Sengupta, next Friday, April 5! Details below. In addition to the Mass Culture Workshop, Rakesh will be presenting as part of the Southern Asia Seminar on Thursday, April 4.

Your 2023–24 Mass Cult coordinators,

Joel and Hugo


Media Archaeology and the Counterhumanism of the Majority World

Rakesh Sengupta, Assistant Professor, English and Cinema Studies, University of Toronto


April 5, 2024, 11 AM–12:30 PM, in Cobb 311

Presented in partnership with the Southern Asia Seminar


While temporality has been a key orientation in media archaeology, the geographical space of media objects has largely remained neglected in the field. Although there have been a number of calls for empirically expanding the geographical scope of the field, this talk will offer a critical survey of recent scholarship on media archaeology from contexts in the Global South that offer transformative rather than additive potential for the field. Drawing upon the theoretical intersections and divergences of media archaeology and decolonial thinking, it will be argued that a situated focus on media objects and practices can not only help explore their geo-spatial contingencies, but also offer a counterhumanistic critique of the radically materialist approaches of media archaeology.

Rakesh Sengupta is Assistant Professor in English and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. His current book project, From Medium to Practice: An Archaeology of Screenwriting in Indian Cinema, traces the long history of screenwriting in India from the colonial era to the contemporary, and engages with multiple media forms—paper, software, and more recently AI—that have come to shape screenwriting practice and discourse outside of the West. His research and writings on South Asian film culture have been published in Theory, Culture & Society, BioScope, and The Wire among other journals and periodicals. Rakesh has previously taught at the University of Amsterdam and holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London.

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