Call for Papers: National Conference on Historicizing Indian Television: People, Programs and Processes Post 1990 (HIT: PPP)

National Conference

8th-10th February, 2018

Department of Media and Communication Studies, SPPU

February 8 - 10, 2018 Call for Papers

Abstract Submission Deadline Extended to 18th December 2017
Themes for PapersAbstract TemplateRegistration Form


Back in 1990 when a handful of homes in India began to receive live coverage of Gulf war by CNN through their cable operators, little did they realize that they were witnessing a historical moment in Indian context as well. It was probably the first major example that demonstrated the power and potential of cable and satellite (C&S) mode of distribution of television in India. Although television began in India in 1959, satellite based television experiment was carried out in 1975 and cable networks began to emerge by mid 1980s, this type of integration of satellite television with cable in 1990 was historic because it paved the way for massive changes in television’s role as industry and an institution. Incorporated within the larger structural transformation of Indian economy, polity and culture under the rubric of LPG, these changes were surely as fundamental as the larger process itself.

But compared to the magnitude, penetration and varied effects of these changes experienced over the last 25 years, Indian television post 1990 remains academically understudied area.  Almost every aspect of television- from technology to content, from ownership to audiences and from economics to politics- has changed but not much has been done to historicize these changes from different perspectives. 



This may be partially due to the fact that for several years, these changes were too overwhelming in terms of their speed and spread to take a dispassionate historical look. But as we are entering into 28th year of these changes and as two of the major players of this era- Zee TV and Sun TV- are celebrating their silver jubilee this year, time has passed long enough to offer a vantage point for dispassionate historic account of these massive changes.

The need to historicize this period is being felt urgently for one more reason. Just as the combination of satellite and cable changed the ‘monochromatic’ world of Door Dashan centric television in India the 1990s, the integration of Internet and mobile along with several other technological and social factors is poised to deeply unsettle the stabilized television scenario in India. It is therefore, important and urgent to historicize the post 1990 Indian television before- as is being feared- it changes again beyond what we understand by ‘television’.

It is against this backdrop that Department of Media and Communication Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University is organizing a three day national level conference on the theme- Historicizing Indian Television: People, Programs and Processes Post 1990 (HIT-PPP). While historical developments of this nature can be located in many spaces, the conference proposes to streamline these varied accounts mainly along three dimensions: People, Programs and Processes. These three dimensions can reasonably take into account most of the issues related to television as an industry as well as social institution and yet remain coherent and grounded in the field of media studies.

History of television could be told through the agency of people where the term people could include all those individuals on or behind the screen who made it big as well as people as groups and communities for whom television meant something big. Simply put, this dimension prioritizes contributions of people as players or agents of history where the people could be ‘senders’ or ‘receivers’ of television. This is perhaps a short term and close up view of history. The second dimension of historicizing is television content. Here the term ‘content’ includes fiction, nonfiction and anything in between. This section locates history in symbolic domain and its socio-cultural significance. Here the emphasis is on arguing the historicity of the content in terms of its popularity, uniqueness, aesthetics etc. This dimension seeks to frame the content as a reflection of socio-cultural- political or market forces. This is usually mid-term and mid-close view of history. The process dimension of historicizing takes a long term and long view of history.

It emphasizes on the complex dynamics of socio-economic, technological and political forces and ideas spread over a significant period of time which results in sets of actions, events and responses. It is an attempt to explain observable history in terms of the various forces underneath.

Historicizing is thus a process of contextualizing actions and events from the past from a vantage point of time. It is interpreting the events for their significance to the time, field, people and society. It is therefore, more than just the factual description. It is putting meaning to facts and deriving insights from the past. The conference aims to collectively develop such insights about the post 1990 era of Indian television.

To do this, the conference invites papers exploring various topics under these themes from academicians well as television professionals. It welcomes all theoretical as well as methodological approaches and data sources available for the process of historicizing.
Besides approximately 25 paper presentations, the 3 day conference will also include close interactions with people who played significant role in Indian television industry during this historic era. Select papers from the conference will be published later in the form of a book.

Suggested Topics:

In light of the above note, following themes could be explored in the context of Indian television in any language during 1990-2016. This list is indicative. Other themes and topics are welcome as long as the focus is on Indian television during the given time period.

 Theme- People

Owners, managers, strategists who transformed television scenario in India
Editors, journalists, programmers, producers who established/ changed content making practices
Performers, anchors and historicity their performance
Celebrities created by TV and nature of their ‘celebrity’ness
Politicians as television performers
Common people as participants on TV programs
Sociology of television professionals
People as fans of television programs
Family as television audiences
Children as television audiences
Marginalized people and television
People, television rituals and routines
Indian Diasporas and Indian television
People as television critics, aggrieved audiences and detractor 

Theme- Programs

Indigenous genres/ formats in fiction, non-fiction TV programs
Adaptations of genre/ format
Programming and scheduling strategies
Programs and historicity of their popularity
Programs and re-presentations
Programs as events and events as programs
Program as reality and reality as programs
News values and news biases
News style and presentations
Television discussions, debates and interviews
Breaking news and live television
Sports and programs and programming
Television programs and political, social, cultural controversies
Television program and gender dynamics
Commoditization, consumerism and programs
Sex, crime, violence and programs
Religion, gods, gurus, babas and TV programs
History, legends and TV programs
Films, Stars, Songs, Dance and TV programs
Programs as talent hunt
Transnational television content
Programs as socio-political movements
Television visual aesthetics
Programs, emotions and Rasas
Re-telecasting or rejuvenating old programs

Theme- Processes

Ownership, investments and issues of concentration and diversity
Television market segmentation and channel branding
Advertising and television’s revenue model
Regulatory and licensing regimes
Television and freedom of speech and expression
Legislations and legal provisions
Television and response of other media
Technological changes and production in Indian TV
Changes in TV distribution and reception technologies in India
Cable, MSO and the ‘Local TV’ phenomenon
Television audience measurement systems- challenges and opportunities
Prasar Bharati and Public Sector Broadcasting
‘Indianization’ of multinational television
‘Regionalization’ of programs from other Indian languages
Television and transformation of sports and sporting culture
Television and short term and long term knowledge gain
‘Televisualization’ of politics and political processes 
Film and television relationship
Production houses as the production ecosystem for television
Television production standards and practices
Scholarship related to Indian television
Technological, political, social and economic challenges before television industry


* Submission of Abstract- December 7, 2017 (Extended to 18th December 2017) 
* List of Selected Abstracts – December 16, 2017 (Extended to 20th December 2017)
* Submission of Full paper- February 1, 2018.
* Conference- February 8-10, 2018           

Abstract Submission:

* The abstract should be of 300 - 350 words.
* It should have concise title and 3 to 5 keywords
* Abstract should include brief description of the following points- precise topic placed in space and time context, significance or relevance of the topic, important points/ issues / subtopics to be discussed, theoretical approach if any, method and data to be used, key aspects of historicity of people/program/ process
* It should include name/s of paper presenter/s, institutional affiliation, brief bio data in not more than 150 words, and contact which includes address for correspondence, e-mail and mobile number.
* In case of multiple authors, please indicate the main author. Correspondence will be done with the main author.
* Please click here to download the template for abstract or mail to to get it as an attachment.
Abstract should be sent to-
Abstract will be selected by double blind peer review method. Author /Main author of selected abstract will be informed by December 16, 2017 

Venue & Registration:

* Venue: Dept of Media and Communication Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Ganeshkhind, Pune- 411007
* Registration Fees: - For Masters, M. Phil and Ph.D students- Rs. 500/-
                              - For Teachers, Free lance researchers and Professionals: Rs. 1,000/-
                          - DD of the applicable amount should be drawn in favor of Registrar, Savitribai Phule Pune University and should be sent along with the hard copy of registration form.
Last Date of Registration: January 25, 2018
* Accommodation: Participant should make arrangement for their stay in Pune on their own. Organizers of the conference will help them if required.

Conference Organising Committee:

Vishram Dhole (Conference Coordinator) 
Mobile: + 91- 9545268245                                                                         

Akash Dhopeshwarkar, Asst. Professor
Ajit Gagare, Asst. Professor
Amit Sonawane, Asst. Professor
Parool Sharma, Asst. Professor
Sonal Nade, Teaching Associate
Satyen More, Office Assistant

Dr. Madhavi Reddy (Conference Convener)
Professor and Head
Dept. of Media and Communication Studies
Savitribai Phule Pune University
Mobile: + 91- 9922758708

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