Nov 30, 2021, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Program in South Asian Studies
Event Description

Dr. Dheepa Sundaram (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor of Hindu Studies at the University of Denver which sits on the unceded tribal lands of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people. She is a scholar of performance, ritual, nationalism, and digital culture. Her research examines the formation of Hindu virtual religious publics through online platforms, social media, apps, and emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Specifically, she is interested in how online mechanisms of meaning-making like hashtags operate through the aggregation of capital, relying on power, privilege, and access to be successful. Much of her work thinks about the savarna logics of virtual platforms and how caste-oppressed, Adivasi, and minority religious communities are characterized, minimized, and effaced within these spaces. Her current monograph project titled Globalizing Dharma: The Making of a Global Hindu Brand examines how commercial ritual websites fashion a new, digital canon for Hindu religious praxis, effectively "branding" religious identities through a neoliberal "Vedicizing" of virtual spaces.

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