Padmapriya Vidhya-Govindarajan is a PhD student at the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. She studies social movements, participatory media and political cultures in India, China and the Sino-Indian relationship. Her recent interests include the experiences of digitality and mediation in postcolonial environmental justice movements, and she focuses on coastlines in South India for her dissertation.
Broadly, however, her research interests stretch across environmental media studies, anthropology of science, postcolonial science and technology studies, political theory and film cultures, and she is an interdisciplinary and multi-methods scholar. She has a Master’s in China Studies (focus on IR and Politics) from the Yenching Academy of Peking University, and a Master’s in Development Studies from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. In the past, she has researched and written on political speech and its relationship to territoriality, lawyers’ movements for constitutional rights, urban informality and law as part of her academy study as well as outside of it. She conducts research in English, Tamil, Hindi and Chinese.
Salwa Hoque is an interdisciplinary scholar and engages with theoretical frameworks from political theory, media studies, and legal anthropology. Her doctoral dissertation examines legal pluralism in Bangladesh through a comparative analysis of the use of digital technologies in state courts and non-state courts in order to rethink the law of evidence and discourse of rights. Her research focuses particularly on digital evidence, the construction and operation of digital databases, and legal research software. Digital technologies play a central role in legal research and formulating evidence in court. Salwa’s dissertation challenges prevailing idealizations of digitization in the legal community in the Global South, and demonstrates how digital tech can distort and erase subaltern socio-legal realities, further ostracizing individuals and groups that are already living in the margins. The aim is not to reinforce a binary between Islamic/secular, state/non-state, digital/non-digital; rather, the goal is to challenge dominant epistemologies and unveil how the design and operation of digital technologies are not neutral – they are politicized and embedded within existing social structures and power dynamics.
She holds a Master of Arts in South Asia Studies from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and English (Honors) from the University of Washington.
Meg is a PhD candidate in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication. She studies media, ecology, and the built environment, with a special interest in the connection between computation and environmental design, and in the ideas and affects that shape this connection. Her dissertation traces the role of digital media tools across the supply chain for architectural timber and the investments of the tech industry into systems for low-carbon wood construction. Her academic interests span environmental media studies, infrastructural and logistical media systems, race and the environment, feminist and postcolonial science and technology studies, philosophy of technology, and architectural theory.
She holds degrees in geography and environmental history from the University of Oxford and Fordham University. Meg is from Baltimore, Maryland, organizes with the NYU graduate worker union GSOC-UAW 2110, and also works as an artist.