Pramāna, "means of knowledge", serves as one of the core concepts in Indian epistemology and is conceived as the ethos behind the research conference being organised by Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC), a constituent of the Symbiosis International (Deemed University). Pramāna encompasses reliable and valid means to gain verifiable knowledge through pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference), upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation), anupalabdhi (cognitive proof) and śabda (testimonial).
The prime driving force behind SCMC has always been the pursuit of knowledge. As a premier college for undergraduate media studies, SCMC is known widely for its rigorous programme, academic research, industry connect and a robust network of illustrious alumni. Pramāna is an initiative to provide academics, researchers and students a platform to look at contemporary media from a bold and critical perspective.
The theme for the first SCMC Pramāna would therefore focus on current media subjects, narratives and effects, especially in these turbulent times of tectonic shifts in the media landscape. The advent of digitization of media (from the entertainment industry to journalism) has picked up pace in recent years, further bolstered by the limitations imposed by the onset of COVID and resultant lockdowns. The security and stability of the mainstream media appears to be under siege from a series of new entrants, both platforms and subjects.
The past decade has seen both the emergence of radically new media subjects—the woke generation and their activities online, online trolls and their weaponization by various political interests, the intersectional gender-aware ‘Gen X’, the ‘flat-earthers’ and QAnons, etc.—and a growing demand to regulate and/or control these subjects’ freedom—various cybermedia laws, attempts to impose national boundaries on the cyberspace by countries like China and others, the growing concern over fake news and call for the creation of watchdogs and experts, etc.
It has thus become urgent to map this field of new possibilities, the dangers it posits, the subjects who flourish in this new mediascape, the subjects that are invisible in new media, and the efficacy and ethics of the new attempts to control the field, either by the state or other actors. Some of the sub-themes of Pramāna are:
Please respond to this call for papers by sending a 200-word abstract for your paper at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th September, 2021, 11:59 PM in word/PDF format. Please provide relevant details about yourself in the email, including your email address and phone no, and mention “SCMC Pramāna 2021 Abstract” in the subject line of the email. We will notify the selected candidates by 25th September. For further queries, feel free to write to email@example.com.
Venue: Online (The platform will be announced later)