Jugaad Time

Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India (ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise)

This book emerged out of the changing political and personal landscapes shaping a set of collaborative researches into the politics of neoliberal technologies in India, the UK, and the US. In September 2010 I left a tenured position in an English department at a large state university in the US to take up a position as Lecturer in New Media and Communication at a then left-leaning business school in London. By then I had just finished a year-long research project on gender dynamics in India’s fast-growing mobile phone ecologies, focusing on how to pose effectively questions of embodiment and perception in the contexts of cultures of pirated workarounds (jugaad) in digital technologies. Developing the concept of ecologies of sensation drawn from my study of new media in Untimely Bollywood, I was following an intuition that new political structures were emerging at the level of the body’s habits, understood as always multiply situated processes of (dis)ability, control, and becoming, and that central to the story of this emergence was the then-nascent mobile phone ecology exploding differently throughout India, changing how people were relating to each other and to their so-called smart cities.

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