Roundtable event with European Teaching Award recipient Dr. Shakuntala Banaji
Critical research, reflexive teaching: highlighting inequality through media research
a roundtable discussion with Shakuntala Banaji, London School of Economics
recipient of the fourth annual European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: Why is there such a desire to believe that we live in a uniformly connected communicative sphere when inequalities and disparities are so eminently apparent? Is digital media agentic and creative where old media encourages conformity and passivity? What differences do intersections of social class, gender, race and geography make to the imaginaries and agencies enabled by media and technology? What does a praxis of equality and democracy look like in research and classroom environments where power and knowledge circulate in unequal ways? These are the kinds of questions which have driven and continue to animate Shakuntala Banaji's research, teaching and trade union activism. In this brief presentation, Shakuntala Banaji will sketch the connections between her projects on civic agency and youth across Europe, and her ongoing research with working children in India to show the ways in which these themes and data can be embedded in teaching to challenge the preconceptions, and build on the experiences of international undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Shakuntala Banaji, PhD, is programme director for the MSc in Media, Communication and Development in the department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Recently, she has been the recipient of the fourth annual European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities, initiated by CEU Provost and Pro-Rector Liviu Matei and overseen by the University's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and aimed to promote excellence in teaching across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). She lectures in development and communication, international media and world cinema and plays an active role in her university trade union branch. She has participated in several large cross-European projects on young people, new technologies, schooling and democratic participation in Europe between 2006 and 2014, with two new projects on participatory culture, active citizenship and youth in Europe and the Middle East starting in 2015. She has published widely on gender and politics in relation to South Asian media, Hindi cinema, audiences, creativity, news reception and online civic participation: ranging from a monograph Reading Bollywood (Palgrave 2006/2011); an edited collection South Asian Media Cultures (Anthem Press 2010/2012); The Civic Web: Young people, the Internet and civic participation jointly authored with David Buckingham (MIT 2013); Youth Participation in Democratic Life another co-authored volume is out with Palgrave in October 2015. She is working on a new monograph about children, labour and media in India.