Collective political projects have become ephemeral and are subject to radical forms of erasure through cooptation, division, redefinition or intimidation in present times. Media and Utopia responds to the resulting crisis of the social by investigating the links between mediation and political imagination. This volume addresses those utopian spaces historically constituted through media, and analyses the conditions that made them possible. Individual essays deal with non-Western histories of technopolitics through distinctive perspectives on how to conceive the relationship between social form, everyday life, and utopian possibility, and by examining a range of media formats and genres � from print, sound, and film to new media. With contributions from major scholars in the field, this book will be of interest to researchers and scholars of media studies, culture studies, sociology, modern South Asian history, and politics.

chapter |16 pages


ByArvind Rajagopal

part I|62 pages

Archive and imagination

chapter 1|15 pages

The cinematic soteriology of Bollywood 1

ByArjun Appadurai

chapter 2|22 pages

Fetish power unbound

A small history of ‘woman’ in Chinese cinema 1
ByRey Chow

chapter 3|23 pages

Civil contract of photography in India 1

ByChristopher Pinney

part II|70 pages


chapter 4|22 pages

Tracking utopias

Technology, labour and secularism in Bombay cinema (1930s–1940s)
ByDebashree Mukherjee

chapter 5|30 pages

National becoming, regional variation and everyday moments

The Film Enquiry Committee, Uttar Pradesh and the student cinema-goer
BySuzanne L. Schulz

chapter 6|16 pages

Museum as metaphor

The politics of an imagined Ahmedabad
ByPooja Thomas

part III|86 pages


chapter 7|20 pages

The labour of self-making

Youth service workers and postsocialist urban development in Kolkata 1
BySaikat Maitra

chapter 8|18 pages

Nostalgia and the mediatic imagination in Tito's Yugoslavia

ByGabika Bockaj

chapter 9|20 pages

Past futures of old media

Gulammohammed Sheikh’s Kaavad: Travelling Shrine: Home
ByKarin Zitzewitz

chapter 10|26 pages

Sonic ruptures

Music, mobility and the media
ByShikha Jhingan

part IV|52 pages


chapter 11|16 pages

Media and imagination

Ramananda Chatterjee and his journals in three languages
ByKalyan Chatterjee

chapter 12|17 pages

Radical intervention in dystopian media ecologies

ByAnindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Saswat Samay Das

chapter 13|17 pages

Posthuman amusements

Gaming and virtuality
ByB. S. Bini

part V|30 pages

Word and the world

chapter 14|28 pages

Populist publics

Print capitalism and crowd violence beyond liberal frameworks 1
ByFrancis Cody

part VI|37 pages

Political theology

chapter 15|35 pages

On innocence

Blasphemy, pan-Islam and the uneven mediation of utopia
ByOn Barak