Digital Emporiums: Indian Platform Capitalism

Date: Monday 13 August, 2018
Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
Digital Learning Space (Room 224), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

The sheer size of India at the level of population makes her platform economies central to the global digital economy. As new infrastructures and opportunities come into being, processes of platformisation are becoming central to the logics of both market and state in India. Nonetheless, the diversity and disparity of this market and its complex web of holdings and interests interact in important distinctive ways. India has neither signed up to be a “taker” of the platform economy nor excluded the interests of global concerns. In neither case, has India implemented a coherent set of regulatory or technical standards. Consequently, the all-encompassing integrated commodity of Silicon Valley has been re-worked into an expansive commercial and sensory apparatus that we might call the digital emporium. An exploration of this domain will tell us much about the evolution and expansion of platform economies in the global south. 

This one day symposium will examine the ways in which the growing platformisation of not just the media but business and governmental operations are occurring in India. With India the second largest country in the world by population and likely to overtake China as the
largest in the next twenty years India’s experience of and development of its platform economy is likely to become increasingly central to the globadigital economy. In this symposium a number of researchers will present on different aspects of this emerging platform economy. Speakers will include Vibodh Parthasarathi (Jahmia Islamia University, Delhi), Shishir Jha (IIT Bombay), Scott Fitzgerald (Curtin), Pradip Thomas (UQ) and Adrian Athique (UQ). Topics will include “Platform Capitalism in India”, “Digital Emporiums”, “Over-The-Top Video Services in India”, and “The Platformisation of Religion in India”.

This event is presented as part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability, and Media Design HASS Strategic Research Initiative. This initiative brings together researchers from the School of Communication and Arts, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and TC Beirne School of Law, along with interstate and international colleagues, to consider the social, political, and economic issues surrounding the platformisation of contemporary media

9:30am Welcome
Prof Tom O’Regan, School of Communication and Arts, UQ

9:45 Adrian Athique, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, UQ
Platform Capitalism in India

10:15 Discussion

10:30 Vibodh Parthasarathi, Jamia Islamia University
Digital Emporiums

11:00 Discussion

11:15 Break

11:30 Shishir Jha, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Aspects of Platformisation

12:00 Discussion

12:10 Scott Fitzgerald, Curtin University
Over-The-Top Video Services in India: Digital Infrastructures, Corporate Strategies and the State

12:40 Discussion

12:50pm Lunch & Book Launch: The Indian Media Economy Vols 1 & 2 (OUP, 2018).

2:00 Pradip Thomas, School of Communication and Arts, UQ
The Platformisation of Religion in India

2:30 Discussion

2:40 Wrap Up and Concluding Remarks
A/Prof Adrian Athique and Prof Vibodh Parthasarathi


This event is part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design project.


Digital Learning Space (Room 224), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)