Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (CCMG, henceforth) in collaboration with Academic Staff College, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi conducts and organizes every year the University Grants Commission Refresher Course on Media Studies, Culture and Governance for the in-service faculty across the country. The first such RC was organized in February 2013.
The 2nd Refresher Course 2014 on Media Studies and Governance started on 14th January and will continue till 4th February, 2014.
Day 5/ 20 January 2014
As per the RC programme, Dr. Shikha Jhingan, Associate Professor of Journalism at Lady Sriram College, University of Delhi delivered a lecture on “Early Media Culture in India: Music, Voice and the Technologies of Sound Reproduction”. The second speaker Dr. Anjana Neira Dev, Associate Professor of English literature at Gargi College, University of Delhi spoke on “Cultural Perspective on Media”.
1st Lecture : Early Media Culture in India: Music, Voice and the Technologies of Sound Reproduction
Dr. Shikha Jhingan, Associated Professor of Journalism at Lady Sriram College, University of Delhi delivered a lecture on “Early Media Culture in India: Music, Voice and the Technologies of Sound Reproduction”. Earlier singers were the Nautch Girls, Courtesans, Mirasi community members. They were patronized by the nawabs, kings, and the rich and elite. The decline of royals and introduction of new technologies in the field of music, prompted these singers to switch to other audiences.
The invention of gramophone led to the mass dissemination of singing. Earlier the singers used to sing in a loud voice in order to make their song audible to everyone. The invention of microphone helped in the softening of voices of singers. Gauhar Jan, Begum Akhtar, Nurjahan, Umrao Jan, etc. were the prominent singers in the early part of the twentieth century. The talkies helped them in securing regular income and fame. Earlier the recordings of the songs and cinematography used to happen simultaneously. Later, with playback singing, the film music became more sophisticated. Everything became departmentalized and singing, recording and filming became a sort of technical expertise and less artistic talent.
2nd Lecture : Cultural Perspectives on Media
Dr. Anjana Neira Dev, Associate Professor of English literature at Gargi College, University of Delhi spoke on “Cultural Perspective on Media”. She cited an example of the foundation courses at the University of Delhi for the Under Graduate level, in which the media technology is used to reach out students by preparing e-lessons. The media has become so influential that it is influencing our results, perceptions and opinions. So far as ‘culture’ is concerned, it is influenced by the media. So, in this fast changing media, cultures are interpreted dynamically. One may say that there is no specific definition of culture. Scholars like Clifford Geertz and Raymond Williams have defined ‘culture’ as an ideal, documentary and as a means of social expression. An attempt to map the spheres of influence of culture would end up in multiple interpretations. Culture is created and is limited to particular time and space. Therefore it is imperative to look at the historically and socially specific situation while making interpretations. Culture is a product of social, economic and political scenario of a particular time.
The idea of popular culture that claims to represent the contemporary ‘reality’, is comprised of many markers like socialization, the visible dimension of culture in form of dress, artifacts, traditions, symbols, etc., the invisible dimension of culture like assumptions, belief, values, perceptions, attitudes, worldviews, etc. Furthermore, there are certain stereotypes, high and low culture, folk culture, etc. There is also one aspect of culture and media having contours like production, consumption, representation and access. It is a continuous cycle where the individual and society are interdependent where both are shaping and being shaped by culture.
The phases of media in India can be divided into colonial period, freedom movement, after independence and globalization. Here media is influencing transformation in terms of culture, politics and economics by disseminating ideas like nationalism, democracy, unveiling the layers of reality but always hiding the core. Radio, cinema and television have played an important role in this type of dissemination. For example, radio began as a medium of development communication but gradually it has become the provider of entertainment. Same is the case with TV, initially used for educational and instructional purpose, but now it is a popular means of entertainment. With globalization, it is expanding more, and advertisements are now a part of this trio too. It connects with the rational and emotional behavior, and also provides freedom of choice. So it can be said that radio, television, and cinema are the contemporary reflection of Indian Culture.