Voicing Subjects: Public Intimacy and Mediation in Kathmandu (South Asia Across the Disciplines)

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9780520270701: Voicing Subjects: Public Intimacy and Mediation in Kathmandu (South Asia Across the Disciplines)

Voicing Subjects traces the relation between public speech and notions of personal interiority in Kathmandu.  It explores two seemingly distinct formations of voice that have emerged in the midst of the country’s recent political and economic upheavals: a political voice associated with civic empowerment and collective agency, and an intimate voice associated with emotional proximity and authentic feeling.  Both are produced and circulated through the media, especially through interactive technologies. The author argues that these two formations of voice are mutually constitutive and aligned with modern ideologies of democracy and neoliberal economic projects.  This ethnography is set during an extraordinary period in Nepal’s history that has seen a relatively peaceful 1990 revolution that re-established democracy, a Maoist civil war, and the massacre of the royal family.  These dramatic changes have been accompanied by the proliferation of intimate and political discourse in the expanding public sphere, making the figure of voice ever more critical to an understanding of emerging subjectivity, structural change and cultural mediation.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Kunreuther has produced a confident and compelling manuscript that will be of interest to scholars and students not only of South Asia but of the politics of publicness more generally. Her attention to voice is refreshing and challenges the way scholars think of media."—William Mazzarella, author of Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity

"Laura Kunreuther’s Voicing Subjects uses the new prevalence of voice-related metaphors, discourses, and technologies as a means of exploring shifting forms of subjectivity during a tumultuous period of social and political change in Nepal. Through careful ethnography, she creatively documents a range of distinctly Nepali experiences of selfhood and agency and how these meld and clash with “liberal” forms of subjectivity embedded in democratic politics and commercial mass media technologies. Voicing Subjects is an original and important contribution to the anthropology of subjectivity."—Mark Liechty, author of Suitably Modern: Making Middle-Class Culture in a New Consumer Society

"Laura Kunreuther's book will make readers rethink their assumptions about voice because it brings together the political and intimate realms in new and revealing ways.  This ethnography of urban Nepalis' emergent subjectivities focuses on the role of radio in creating an affective public.  It also demonstrates how an anthropology of the voice -- and of seeing, hearing, and speaking -- can shed light on the interwoven nature of intimacy, political movements, gender, technology, and social change."—Laura Ahearn, author of Invitations to Love: Literacy, Love Letters, and Social Change in Nepal

About the Author:

Laura Kunreuther is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Bard College.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nepal s recent history is extraordinary: within a short span of time, the country endured a relatively peaceful 1990 revolution that reestablished democracy, a Maoist civil war, and the massacre of its royal family. As these dramatic changes were taking place, Nepalese society experienced an upsurge in both political and intimate discourse, and the two became intertwined as they developed. Voicing Subjects is an ethnography that explores that phenomenon, tracing the relationship between public speech and notions of personal interiority in Kathmandu by examining the two formations of voice that emerged: a political voice, associated with civic empowerment and collective agency, and an intimate voice, associated with emotional proximity and authentic feeling. Using personal interviews and examples in the media--in particular, radio--Kunreuther s careful study reveals the figure of voice as a critical tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of emerging subjectivity, structural change, and cultural mediation. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520270701

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nepal s recent history is extraordinary: within a short span of time, the country endured a relatively peaceful 1990 revolution that reestablished democracy, a Maoist civil war, and the massacre of its royal family. As these dramatic changes were taking place, Nepalese society experienced an upsurge in both political and intimate discourse, and the two became intertwined as they developed. Voicing Subjects is an ethnography that explores that phenomenon, tracing the relationship between public speech and notions of personal interiority in Kathmandu by examining the two formations of voice that emerged: a political voice, associated with civic empowerment and collective agency, and an intimate voice, associated with emotional proximity and authentic feeling. Using personal interviews and examples in the media--in particular, radio--Kunreuther s careful study reveals the figure of voice as a critical tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of emerging subjectivity, structural change, and cultural mediation. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520270701

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