Hinduphobia: A Media Studies Perspective | Prof. Vamsee Juluri

The term “Hinduphobia” is now in widespread usage in social media. This term, and the real concerns it implies, are, however, denied legitimacy in most legitimizing institutions, including government, business, media, and education. In this talk, Professor Vamsee Juluri shows how Hinduphobia must be approached not like a conspiracy theory but as an object of study in the social sciences. The talk covers three broad areas. First, we examine the evidence to evaluate how successful, if at all, Hindu American advocacy efforts have been in advancing concerns about Hinduphobia, especially when compared to other anti-oppression concepts like racism, antisemitism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. Second, we review the history of the field of media studies so as to better understand the resistance to recognizing Hinduphobia as a valid object of study that exists in the field.

Third, we outline a conceptual map for studying Hinduphobia in the field of media studies, including specific questions pertaining to media institutions, texts, and audiences. In this part, we also cover several examples of tropes and tactics that constitute Hinduphobia in media representations based on Prof. Juluri’s latest publication: “Hindu Nationalism” or “Hinduphobia”?: Ethnocentrism, Errors, and Bias in Media and Media Studies. In D. Sharma (Ed.). (, 2020). Ethics, Errors, and Ethnocentrism: Research in Social Science. New York: Routledge. Viewers of this talk can expect to learn how to talk about media depictions of Hinduism that are false, biased, or hateful in a professional, scholarly fashion that can help change the discourse about Hinduism in the media.

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