Seeing and Hearing through Silences: Reflections on Methodologies of Violence in Our Times

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:44
Oral Presentation
Bandana PURKAYASTHA, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
For years, researchers who have analysed violence, have pointed to processes of silencing as well as the silences that socially construct the universe of violence. This research has also expanded the ways in which global to local structures of violence create a continuum of violence that becomes routinized in everyday life. In this presentation I will draw upon two strands of my earlier work.

In my earlier work on ethnicity (Purkayastha 2005) I had argued that human beings are positioned exist within multiple layers of structures, where each layer is constituted out of the structures, boundaries, conflicts and coalescence that shape each layer. Consequently, multi-layered identities are fragmented, fluid, and disjunctured. Thus the structures we need to trace are far more complex than the simply local to global structures we typically consider within intersectional frameworks.

Further, in my work on life on web spaces (Purkayastha 2012, Narayan, Purkayastha, Banerjee 2010), I pointed out that the ways in which we understand structure and culture within nation-states offer limited maps for studying life on web spaces. Certainly, organizing on web spheres, which include assertions of hegemonies of power, construction of boundaries, force and coercion, are important for understanding violence of our times.

Drawing upon the work produced in countries within and outside the Global North, I reflect on the methodologies for studying types and structures violence and silencing together over social spheres that cover tangible and web geographies.