Towards a socially charged media studies

Towards a socially charged media studies

I had always been interested in studying culture and communication, in particular literature and film.

To pursue that, I took up English Literature for my undergraduate degree at Delhi University and followed that up with a MA in Mass Communication at AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.

This training prepared me for the study and practice of media. After almost three years of teaching and practice, I felt a need to supplement my academic training in terms of theoretical and research expertise.

Taking up a PhD degree in media and communication in an international academic environment presented itself as an exciting opportunity for both my personal and professional development.

Having gone through all the options available, I chose Loughborough University because of its reputation as one of the top Social Sciences research universities.

In particular, there is an abundance of research expertise in the field of cultural memory, which fitted well with the requirements of my PhD project. The department also offered me a fee waiver and stipend, which was also a deciding factor for me to study at the University.

I decided to research about the Bhopal disaster which stemmed from a long association with the gas survivors’ campaign for justice.

My academic training and professional background made me particularly interested in examining the cultural politics employed by the movement and the role played by media and communication technologies. I first became involved with the campaign in 2004 as the coordinator of a student support group ‘We For Bhopal’.

Since then I’ve continued to lend support to their activities in one form or another. My research study is a multi-level analysis examining the interaction of the individual, social and institutional remembrance of the Bhopal disaster. The focus is on the survivors’ campaign for justice against the state and transnational corporations.

In particular, I examine how the social movement organisations employ the mediated memory of the disaster to mobilise a transnational political campaign and how individual survivors’ engage with this memorial politics.

My experience at Loughborough University as a student has been extremely rich. I’ve had excellent supervision, supplemented by active dialogue with a diverse community of academics, researchers and PhD students.

Access to academic resources and logistical support has been of the highest quality. In terms of professional development, I’ve benefitted from comprehensive research and teaching training organized by the department, the University and external forums. I’ve also had extensive opportunities to teach and collaborate on high profile research projects.

At the University, I have also been involved in a number of extra curricular activities. Amongst the most prominent has been the setting up of a student-led community gardening initiative called the ‘Landscaping and Gardening Society’.

 

The group, in association with the University’s sustainability team, has set up a community-managed garden on the campus. It gives me immense satisfaction to have played a crucial part in the setting up of a project, which will continue to contribute to university life, long after I have graduated.

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