"I try to untangle the multi-layered processes that constitute globalization"
"Media and new technologies shape the social and political experience of migration" according to Radha S. Hegde. As an Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, Hegde notes that the media scripting of migration and globalization provides an important vantage point to understand the formation of diasporic communities. In a book that she is currently writing, titled Mediating Migration (Polity Press), Hegde offers a narration of the migrant experience as it unfolds in the context of neoliberal globalization and emerging media technologies.
Her course Media and Migration examines how cultural production and consumption assume new meaning in the migrant context. As migrants follow the trail of capital to better their lives or in the case of refugees to leave politically dangerous situations, they are also framed by media trails that watch, document, archive and entertain. In the graduate course Transnational Communities and Media Cultures, Hegde focuses on the intersection of mediated practices and the lived experience of migrant groups.
While most mainstream accounts of globalization emphasize the inevitability and speed of transformations, far less emphasis is paid to the gendered contradictions that are inherent in these processes. Hegde's scholarship and teaching pays particular attention to the inequalities that are embedded in the global scene. Her recent work has engaged with how new forms of racial and gendered tensions are framed as spectacles in the context of neoliberal globalization. Hegde is also currently working on an edited volume which tracks the ways gendered subjects are defined in transnationally networked environments.
Hegde spent her sabbatical in India (2008-09) where she studied how a new labor force is being shaped in India and made communication-ready for the electronic environments of the global workplace. "An industry devoted to communication training is booming in India right now," says Hegde and is not only transforming notions of work and identity but entangling the categories of the national and global.
Radha Hegde's interest in media and communication goes back to her time as a journalist in India, where she was born. She pursued a Ph.D. in communication from the Ohio State University. Her continuing research interest on the subject of gender and sexuality is closely related to her activist work – she is a co-founder of Manavi, the first South Asian women's group in the U.S. to address issues of domestic violence. Some of her earlier published work has been on the representation of violence, reproductive politics and everyday life for women in south India.
Radha Hegde previously served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Media, Culture and Communication. A recipient of the Steinhardt Teaching Excellence award, Hegde has taught courses on globalization and migration in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. "In my courses and research, I try to untangle the multi-layered processes that constitute globalization."