Research

Raminder Kaur works in four broad research areas:

(i) public culture, aesthetics, censorship, history, religion and politics in South Asia

(ii) migration, race/ethnicity, the creative arts and heritage 

(iii) public representations of, and the socio-political, health and environmental implications of nuclear developments

(iv) 'cultures of sustainability'

 

https://sussex.academia.edu/RaminderKaur 

 

Raminder's monograph, Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism focuses on Maharashtra's foremost festival dedicated to the elephant-headed god, Ganesh (Ganapati). With the focus on this multifaceted festival, she considers the dynamics of vernacular artworks, religion, performance, spectacle and politics in differing historical contexts, particularly as they pertain to subaltern classes.  Her  interests in these issues continue with her role as part of the Dwelling and Crossing network based at the University of Bergen (managed by Professors Istvan Keul and Michael Stausberg and funded by the Norwegian Research Council) http://mumbai.b.uib.no/

Her co-edited volume Censorship in South Asia (with William Mazzarella) investigates the regulation of public culture from a variety of angles - from the cinema to advertising, from street politics to political communication, and from the adjudication of blasphemy to the management of obscenity. The contributions broaden the understanding of what censorship might mean - beyond the simple restriction and silencing of public communication - by considering censorship's productive potential and its intimate relation to its apparent opposite, 'publicity'.

Her co-authored volume, Diaspora and Hybridity  (with Virinder Kalra and John Hutnyk) explores the history and social contexts of these two key concepts, and considers the terms with political and economic rather than simply culturalist analyses. Her particular chapters concentrate on the extent to which diaspora is a racialised concept, and highlight the significance of gendered identities in any enquiry on international migration. The topic was broached in her earlier co-edited volume when she was a student, Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics, that includes academic articles, poetry and fiction on non-Eurocentric perspectives on travel.

Her co-edited volume, Bollyworld: Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens (with Ajay Sinha), combines her interests in South Asian and diasporic cultures. The volume considers Indian popular film from transnational angles in terms of its production histories; its borrowed and contributive aesthetics, styles and plots; and its distribution and modes of reception in several places around the world including Britain, US, Guyana, Germany, Nigeria and South Africa.

Her co-edited ASA volume, Arts and Aesthetics in a Gobalizing World (with Parul Dave-Mukherji) is based on plenary and panel papers presented at the annual Association of Social Anthropologists conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi in 2012. The book provides contextualised studies of the differing views and practices surrounding arts and aesthetics across history and regions

Her recent research revolves around public representations of nuclear issues (supported by a BA and an ESRC research grant), and written into her most recent monograph, Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (with the help of an AHRC Research Leave award). The book provides a historical and ethnographic study of perceptions and representations of nuclear power and bombs, of those based in the city of Mumbai — a prime site for nuclear establishments in India since the mid-1940s. The chapters focus on the percolation of nuclear issues in popular culture such as print and digital media, films, documentaries, superhero comics and advertising. 

Her forthcoming book with Saif Eqbal is on superhero comics and youth cultures in India.

The research on nuclear developments has led to an enquiry into the socio-political, health and environmental implications of nuclear power plants, published in several articles, and a forthcoming book, Radiation Burdens. It is accompanied by her current work and interests in research on cultures of, and understandings of sustainability.