I’m Padma Chirumamilla. I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. In 2018-19, I was a Mary and David Hunting Graduate Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities.
My dissertation investigates how the television became an ordinary object in the everyday rhythms of life in non-Hindi speaking southern India, with a focus on the 1980s and 1990s. I examine the myriad networks of people, regulations, regional-language productions, materials, and labor that were necessary to transform the television from a relative (and uninspiring) oddity into an unassuming part of everyday life. I also consider what the stories of the television set—a technology facing down its seeming obsolescence as I write about it—can tell us about the contours of the digital future imagined for and in a place like southern India.
I’ve completed my dissertation under the guidance of Aswin Punathambekar (Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia) and Paul N. Edwards (Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University). Silvia Lindtner (Information) and Dan Herbert (Film, Television and Media Studies) also sat on my committee.
I am an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.